CHINA / Regional

Health authorities tighten monitoring in bird flu area
Updated: 2006-05-08 21:32

Chinese health authorities have tightened health monitoring and controls in the northwestern Qinghai Province where a bird flu outbreak was reported during the May Day holiday.

The Ministry of Health said Monday it had instructed the provincial health department to take emergency measures to protect tourists during the week-long holiday as soon as the outbreak was confirmed.

Herdsmen in the Yushu County wetland area found a group of dead wild geese on April 23. The Ministry of Agriculture confirmed the outbreak of bird flu on May 5 when the number of dead birds had risen to 123.

The area is 800 kilometers from the provincial capital Xining, and 60 kilometers from the county town. It is uninhabited due to its high altitude and harsh environment.

China has reported 36 outbreaks of bird flu and 18 human infections involving 12 fatalities since 2005.

The health ministry also said on Monday that no major public health incidents or serious food poisoning cases were reported during the holiday.