Two Bird Flu Cases Announced over the Weekend in China

2009-01-19 17:41 1882

BEIJING, Jan. 19 /PRNewswire-Asia/ -- The World Health Organization this weekend was informed of two cases of avian influenza in China: a two-year-old girl who is currently hospitalized with the infection, and a 27-year-old woman who died on January 17.

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China's Ministry of Health informed WHO's China office of the cases. WHO expects the ministry will continue to keep it updated on these cases, and is prepared to provide technical assistance if requested.

The WHO's global pandemic alert level remains at Phase 3, meaning "no or very limited human-to-human transmission." During the Chinese New Year holiday season, when people are more exposed to poultry as poultry consumption rises, people are urged to maintain normal precautions against avian influenza, such as ensuring all poultry is well cooked and always washing hands after contact with raw meat.

Since its re-emergence in 2003, the H5N1 strain of avian influenza has been identified in 33 cases in China, amongst which there were 22 deaths (including the one announced this weekend and the case in Beijing earlier this month). One case, the two-year old girl, remains in hospital.

Source: World Health Organization