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China reports bird flu hit Tianjin, a city close to Beijing
Updated: 2004-02-10 09:14

Four new suspected bird flu outbreaks, including one in the northern municipality of Tianjin, were reported on February 9 in China. Tianjin is a new to be affected by avian influenza.

Ministry of Agriculture spokesman Jia Youling said the ministry on February 9 received reports that in recent days, Tianjin's Jinnan District, Hubei's Macheng city, Yunnan's Anning city and Shaanxi's Huayin city each discovered one case of suspected highly pathogenic bird flu.

Tianjin is located close to the capital Beijing, which has yet to report any outbreaks. Hubei, Yunnan and Shaanxi provinces had reported other outbreaks earlier.

China so far has 38 suspected or confirmed outbreaks in 14 of its provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions. Of the total, 19 outbreaks have been confirmed as the deadly H5N1 bird flu.

Local governments in the newly affected areas immediately began culling poultry and took quarantine measures, and the epidemic has been brought under control in these areas.

No human infections have been found so far in China.


The Chinese government has issued two notices to governments at all levels to cooperate in preventing and curbing bird flu.

The notices, which were issued by the National Avian Influenza Prevention Headquarters, instruct local governments to set up joint task forces with officials from related government departments to coordinate the fight against bird flu, and allocate resources needed for the battle.

Local governments were also instructed to assume leadership of efforts by institutions, the military, NGOs and business, the notices stipulate.

Local authorities were urged to abide by the requirements concerning disease reporting and confirmation of the emergency plan to fight the highly pathogenic bird flu.

The notices urged local governments to report in a timely manner cases of bird flu and to protect material containing the virus, and to punish those who delay or cover up cases.

The notices also ordered local governments to improve health checks of those involved in bird farming, transportation, and processing, particularly in areas hit by the disease.

Local governments should also provide necessary protective materials and equipment for those involved in slaughtering birds infected with avian influenza to prevent human infection.

The notices outlined requirements for quarantine and vaccine production and use.

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