China H7N9 flu region spreads: cases rise to 60, including 13 deaths

April 14, 2013CHINAEleven new cases of the deadly bird flu H7N9 were found in China today, bringing the total in the country to 60, including 13 deaths, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported. Two of today’s new cases are in Henan province, the first time that H7N9 has been discovered there. Two new deaths were reported in Shanghai, bringing the number of dead in the city to nine, more than any other city, according to Xinhua figures. Beijing, China’s capital, announced yesterday that it would close markets that sell live poultry and ban live poultry trading in a move to try to halt the spread of the flu after the city’s first H7N9 case was discovered there on Saturday. A seven-year-old girl is Beijing’s first to fall ill; she is hospitalized and reportedly in stable condition. With the disease spreading northward, a geographical spot between Beijing and Henan of note in the coming days may be Shandong province, an important supplier of chicken meat in the country. The closure of live poultry markets in Beijing will put new pressure on a poultry industry that is struggling to handle chickens ready to be sold but have no buyers. China is the world’s No. 2 producer of chicken after the United States. Shanghai has up to 600,000 such chickens, and city processors have been deep freezing them. Eastern Chinese cities where most H7N9 cases have been concentrated have also closed live poultry markets and are taking other precautions to limit the spread of the new virus. China was the epicenter of the SARS epidemic in 2003 which killed several hundred people worldwide. H7N9 has already been hurting affecting China’s poultry and restaurant industries. Among related New York-traded companies, shares in Yum!, which runs the big KFC chain, managed to close up 0.8% on Friday although it said last week same-store KFC sales in China in March fell 16% from a year earlier amid consumer worries about the flu. –Forbes
Virus spreads: China’s H7N9 bird flu virus spread to a new province on Sunday, with state media reporting two human cases in central Henan, as the disease just west of the area where the disease has been centered. China has said it expects to have a vaccine ready in seven months; but in the article, the U.S. experts said developing one could take “many months.” –Medical X
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One Response to China H7N9 flu region spreads: cases rise to 60, including 13 deaths

  1. Oracle says:

    We need to watch this carefully. I’ve seen a few people online make the comment “it’s only a few people dead, not an epidemic”. Well, do that think epidemics and pandemics begin with thousands or millions of deaths? Can they really be that ignorant? Pandemics begin with one person and grow exponentially to millions. From 60 people dead today to 2 million dead in a few months is possible once the virus mutates and jumps to humans, and it’s already done that.

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