Tags: china | bird flu | keqiang

China's Premier Calls for High Alert as Bird Flu Cases Rise

Sunday, 28 Apr 2013 11:22 AM

SHANGHAI  — Chinese Premier Li Keqiang called on health officials and residents to remain vigilant against the bird flu, as the number of infections rose over the weekend to 122, with 24 deaths.

“We need to stay on high alert as this is a new virus, and we don’t have all the information,” Li said today during a visit to the nation’s disease control agency in Beijing, according to a report posted on China National Radio’s website.

“It looks preventable and controllable now, and there is no evidence showing human-to-human transmission.”

China reported 10 more cases of the H7N9 avian influenza since early Friday. According to data compiled by Bloomberg and the official Xinhua News Agency, that would bring the total number of cases to 122, with 24 deaths.

The central province of Hunan confirmed its first case yesterday, while eastern Jiangxi added three more for a total of five, according to Xinhua.

Li urged health officials to lower the rate of fatalities from the disease and to continue releasing information to the public, according to today’s report. He spoke with officials from Zhejiang province, which has had 45 cases, as well as those from Lushan county in Sichuan province, the epicenter of the 6.6-magnitude earthquake on April 20, on epidemic prevention through video conferences, said the report.

Michael O’Leary, the World Health Organization’s representative in China, visited the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention today as well, according to CNR.

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