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Taiwan on alert after more H7N9 cases in mainland

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-04-05 22:16

TAIPEI - Taiwan was on high alert against H7N9 bird flu as the mainland reported increasing number of cases while cross-strait travelers were rising during the Tomb-sweeping Day holiday.

The island's disease control authority Friday urged airports medical staff to closely watch the health conditions of travelers, especially those from the mainland, enhance checks on fever-looking travelers and inquire their travel history.

Taiwan has set up a special command center for the H7N9 bird flu to closely monitor the situation and listed H7N9 bird flu as a notifiable disease.

There have been no reported cases of the H7N9 strain of bird flu in Taiwan so far, said Chang Feng-yee, chief of the island's disease control authority.

As part of Taiwan's preventative efforts, it has also stepped up sanitization of poultry farms across the island, especially in Zhanghua and Pingtung counties, where poultry farms abound.

As of Friday afternoon, the mainland has reported 16 H7N9 cases nationwide - six in Shanghai, six in Jiangsu, three in Zhejiang and one in Anhui, in the first known human infections of the lesser-known strain.

So far, six people have died from H7N9 infections in Shanghai and Zhejiang.

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