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China steps up H7N9 flu monitoring

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-05-11 01:36

BEIJING - China's local health organs have been instructed to step up flu monitoring as part of the country's efforts to fight H7N9 flu, according to a government document issued Friday.

The instruction features an upgraded plan for H7N9 flu prevention and control, which was issued by the National Health and Family Planning Commission, to replace a previous version issued in early April.

In counties where any human infections with H7N9 have been confirmed, a two-week-long period of closer monitoring over local flu cases should be in place soon after the bird flu case confirmation, the new document said.

Within the two weeks, any patients with flu or a severe, acute respiratory infection in such counties should give samples and enquiries should be made of them on any possible exposure to H7N9, it said.

Those regions where no H7N9 cases have been reported are also urged to increase the number of samples taken from flu cases.

Furthermore, the document said any hospital or clinic receiving a patient who demonstrates flu-like symptoms should inquire about possible exposure to birds or live poultry markets, especially those involved in live poultry raising, slaughter, trade and transport.

The new document also differs from the old version in saying that any clustering of H7N9 human infections, if confirmed, should be reported to health authorities within two hours.

Since China confirmed the first human infections with the bird flu virus in late March, the country has so far reported 130 confirmed H7N9 cases, including 32 deaths.

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