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Ministry vows to step up control of H7N9 bird flu

By Xu Wei | | Updated: 2017-02-23 17:20

The Agriculture Ministry said it will step up efforts to control the H7N9 bird flu epidemic after 192 human cases, including 79 deaths, were reported last month.

It said it will better implement an action plan to control the virus and strengthen monitoring and epidemiological investigations, according to a statement released after a work conference on Wednesday.

Yu Kangzhen, vice-minister of agriculture, said the ministry will also coordinate more with other government departments in the management of live poultry markets, including the implementation of sanitation, cleaning and monthly closure sessions.

The number of cases reported in January made this H7N9 bird flu season, which started in October, the worst since the virus first appeared in China in 2013, according to the National Health and Family Planning Commission.

Since the start of the season, the virus has infected 306 people and by the end of January had killed 100 in 16 provincial areas, including Guangdong, Jiangsu and Anhui provinces.

Ni Daxin, deputy director of emergency response for the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, warned earlier this month that the country’s H7N9 bird flu season is expected to last until April, even though fewer new cases have been reported since February.

Yu said the authority will also try to promote awareness of the virus and try to step up the transformation of the poultry industry as part of the efforts to control its spread.

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