New bird flu vaccines developed
Updated: 2006-06-15 06:14 China has developed new
bird flu vaccines for poultry and a new technology to help diagnose the disease,
the Ministry of Agriculture reported yesterday.
A security guard
wearing respirator stands on duty at Donghu Hospital
in Shenzhen, Guangdong province June 13, 2006. The suspected
bird flu patient is undergoing treatment at the hospital.
The vaccines, if used together,
"offer a solid technical guarantee for the Chinese government to effectively
control highly pathogenic avian influenza," the ministry said, referring to the
deadly strain of H5N1 bird flu.
The vaccines were developed by the National Avian Influenza Reference
Lab director Chen Hualan said the vaccines have not yet been put into full
production, but they have already proven effective in preventing and controlling
the spread of avian influenza.
State authorities are also expanding their attention to scientific research
into avian flu vaccines. Nine companies have been appointed by the Ministry of
Agriculture to produce vaccines.
A new diagnostic test for detecting the H5 virus can single out H5 subtypes
in a little over 10 minutes, an advance that's highly important for rapid
control of a bird flu epidemic, the ministry said.
China has reported 18 human infections of bird flu since last November,
including 12 fatalities. The last case was confirmed on April 27.
On Tuesday, a 19th possible case was reported in Shenzhen in southern China's
Guangdong Province. Preliminary tests show that a 31-year-old man surnamed Jiang
had contracted the H5N1 virus. District health officials yesterday were still
awaiting confirmation from state authorities.
Globally, 225 human infections, including 128 deaths, have been recorded by
the World Health Organization.
China's central government is strengthening its prevention and control of
bird flu, a health official said on Monday.
The Ministry of Agriculture has issued an emergency order for local
governments to tighten controls over poultry stocks to prevent the spread of
avian flu from migratory birds.
The ministry also started a national check this week on the implementation of
its immunization policy across many areas of the country. Some 31 inspection
groups were dispatched to farm regions to check the effects of the immunization
The campaign was organized by the China Animal Disease Control Center, a new
department under the Ministry of Agriculture.