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November 15, 2005

The latest from China

[A] team of WHO experts traveled to China's central region where a bird flu outbreak was reported among poultry. Three people fell ill in the same village in Hunan, including a 12-year-old girl who died, after the government reported 545 chickens and ducks died of bird flu last month. The H5N1 bird flu virus has not been ruled out as the cause of the human infection.

The six-member WHO team is expected to stay a week, working with Chinese officials to investigate the outbreak, said Roy Wadia, WHO spokesman in Beijing.

China also reported a new bird flu outbreak in poultry in Huainan, a city in the eastern province of Anhui its ninth outbreak since Oct. 19, China Central Television said.

Another report said China had developed its own version of Tamiflu, an antiviral drug believed to be the best treatment available for bird flu in humans.

Zhong Nanshan, director of the Guangzhou Institute of Respiratory Diseases, said the Chinese drug has some effect against the virus, according to an interview published Sunday in the Information Times newspaper. It did not give any details about the drug or when it might be available.


China also announced it will close the Xianghai National Nature Reserve to prevent tourists from getting infected with bird flu.

Today there were reports of a suspected human case in Liaoning:

"They said that there is a female poultry worker who's been diagnosed with pneumonia and she's regarded as a possible human case (of bird flu) -- they've not excluded her," said Roy Wadia, the WHO's China spokesman.

Posted by dymaxion at November 15, 2005 12:56 PM

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