Deadly disease causes panic in China

Deadly disease causes panic in China

Authorities are scrambling to deal with a sudden outbreak of a disease that has killed 112 people and sickened many more.

Authorities in China have a major problem on their hands, with dozens dead and many more sickened thanks to the outbreak over the winter of a strain of bird flu. Fortunately, authorities say they are slowly getting a handle on the disease and its spread is slowing somewhat, but the H7N9 bird flu has claimed the lives of 112 people so far.

China is shutting down live poultry markets to slow the disease’s spread. The World Health Organization says the risk of human to human transmission is low for H7N9, but the large increase in human cases worries officials, who recorded 22 new cases of bird flu in just the last week.

Many of those who became sick were exposed to sick or dead poultry. Still others may have been caring for family members who had gotten sick.

Here is what the WHO says about the situation: “On 18 February 2017, the National Health and Family Planning Commission of China (NHFPC) reported to WHO the results of genetic sequencing on virus isolates from two previously reported cases of human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus from Guangdong province. Changes at the cleavage site of the HA gene suggestive of being highly pathogenic to poultry was confirmed by the Chinese National Influenza Centre of the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC).”

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