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WHO experts start H7N9 probe in China

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-04-19 18:54

BEIJING - WHO experts are inspecting Chinese regions that have been hit by the H7N9 avian influenza, according to the National Health and Family Planning Commission.

A Friday statement from the commission said the expert team, which is visiting at the commission's invitation, consists of Chinese and foreign experts in epidemiology and clinical management.

The team members will survey labs, hospitals, clinics, markets and sites where infections were reported in Beijing and Shanghai, as well as familiarize themselves with China's prevention and control methods.

The commission said the experts will offer suggestions on controlling the virus, as well as issue an initial inspection report on April 24.

WHO said it has cooperated closely with Chinese health departments since the first H7N9 case was reported on March 31.

"There is no indication thus far that it can be transmitted between people, but both animal-to-human and human-to-human routes of transmission are being actively investigated," a WHO statement said.

Eighty-eight H7N9 cases have been reported thus far, resulting in 17 deaths, according to figures from the commission.

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