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Posts Tagged ‘h7n9’

Apr
09

The most sought-after commodity in areas hit by the H7N9 flu outbreak is a 10-yuan ($1.60) herbal remedy, indigowoad roots, or banlangen, which has been selling out in stores across Shanghai and Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Anhui provinces.

Daily supplies at pharmacies are being cleared within hours, and demand is so high the government has imposed strict price restrictions to prevent profiteering.

No one is absolutely certain what the humble herb can do to fight the disease, but Jiangsu provincial health bureau said on April 3 that banlangen can keep the H7N9 virus at bay, something which has eluded most advanced medicines, suggested pharmacists.

“No one knows what might happen with bird flu, so they are buying it,” said a clerk at the Renshoutang Pharmacy in Shanghai.

Xiong Wei, the general manager of LBX Pharmacy in Shanghai, said sales of the herb surged between Thursday and Sunday.

“Demand soared from April 3. We had to order 4,800 packets of banlangen the next day from Hangzhou because some stores in Shanghai reported a shortage.

“By Saturday, almost every city in the Yangtze River Delta had reported a shortage and we have had to order the drug from other parts of the country.”

On usual days, Xiong said LBX sells about 300 packets of banlangen a day. Ever since the bird flu outbreak, sales have been about 10 times that.

More than 3,000 packets were sold on Sunday, Xiong added, although sales had calmed in recent days.

“But we have promised not to raise prices at any of our stores, and hope other drugstores don’t either.”

An employee surnamed Yang at the pharmacy of Shanghai Shuguang Hospital, which is affiliated to Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, said: “Banlangen at our hospital is priced at 5.4 yuan a pack.

“So far sales have been steady, with no significant growth.”

Price control officials in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, released a notice on Monday urging that prices of all traditional Chinese medicines sold at drugstores and hospitals should not be allowed to increase during the prevention and control period of bird flu.

Xue Li, a sales representative at Nepstar drugstore in South Huaxia Road in Wuxi, Jiangsu province, said it had been selling banlangen in nine- and 10-yuan packs, ever since the news of the outbreak was reported at the beginning of this month.

“For the cheaper ones, fewer than 10 packets are left at the end of every day.”

Hua Liping, the manager of a drugstore near Wuxi People’s Hospital, said they have been running out of banlangen since Saturday, and was not sure whether they could have the drug restocked until Tuesday.

There are seven major producers of banlangen drugs in China, with Hutchison Whampoa Guangzhou Baiyunshan Chinese Medicine Co the largest, with about 60 percent of the market.

Last year the company’s banlangen sales were worth 336 million yuan.

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Apr
04

SHANGHAI, April 4 (Xinhua) — Authorities in Shanghai said Thursday night that another person has died from H7N9 bird flu, bringing the death toll from the new deadly strain to five around the country.

The city has reported six infections to date, and four have died, said the Shanghai Municipal Health and Family Planning Commission.

Of the rest two, there was a four-year-old, the agency said. The baby was recovering from mild illness, it added.

The person died at Huashan Hospital on Wednesday and was confirmed infected with the H7N9 strain on Thursday. The commission gave no further information on the latest case.

 

Also on Thursday, the commission reported the city’s third death from the H7N9 bird flu.

The case involved a 48-year-old man surnamed Chu, a poultry transporter from Rugao in neighboring Jiangsu Province.

He developed symptoms of cough on March 28. After having a fever on Monday, he went to a private clinic for treatment. The man then sought help in the Tongji Hospital in Shanghai in the early hours of Wednesday after his condition worsened.

Chu died three hours after being admitted to the hospital. He was confirmed infected with the H7N9 virus on Thursday. Eight people who had close contact with him have shown no abnormal symptoms.

So far, China has confirmed 14 H7N9 cases — six in Shanghai, four in Jiangsu, three in Zhejiang and one in Anhui, in the first known human infections of the lesser-known strain. Of all, four died in Shanghai and one died in Zhejiang.

China’s Ministry of Agriculture said Thursday the H7N9 avian flu virus has been detected from pigeon samples collected at a marketplace in Songjiang District of Shanghai.

After gene sequence analysis, the national avian flu reference laboratory concluded that the strain of the H7N9 virus found on pigeons was highly congenetic with those found on persons infected with H7N9 virus.

The ministry has ordered beefed-up monitoring of H7N9 bird flu virus in more areas.

China’s health authorities have promised transparency and cooperation to the World Health Organization in regards to human infections of the new strain of bird flu.

The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday that no human-to-human transmission of H7N9 has been discovered and no epidemiological connection between these cases has been found.

WHO confirms five deaths from China bird flu

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Apr
04

BEIJING — A middle-aged man who transported poultry for a living and another unidentified person have died from a new strain of bird flu, bringing the death toll to five among 14 confirmed cases in China, the government and state media reported Thursday.

The 48-year-old man, who died in Shanghai, is one of several among the infected believed to have had direct contact with fowl. Until recently, the virus, called H7N9, was not known to infect humans.

The official Xinhua News Agency did not identify the fifth fatality, but said that person also died in Shanghai on Wednesday.

It said the Ministry of Agriculture confirmed on Thursday that the H7N9 virus had been detected in pigeons at a market selling agricultural products in Shanghai.

It is not known how people are becoming sick with the virus, and health officials and scientists caution that there are no indications it can be transmitted from one person to another. Scientists who have studied the virus’s genetic sequence said this week that the virus may have mutated, spreading more easily to other animals and potentially posing a bigger threat to humans.

Guidelines issued Wednesday by the national health agency identify butchers, breeders and sellers of poultry, and those in the meat processing industry as at higher risk.

Experts only identified the first cases on Sunday. Some among the 14 confirmed cases fell ill several weeks ago but only now are being classified as having H7N9.

Xinhua said six cases have been confirmed in Shanghai, four in Jiangsu, three in Zhejiang and one in Anhui.

 

Japan, Hong Kong on guard as China fights new bird flu 

(Reuters) – The death toll from a new strain of bird flu rose to five in China on Thursday as Beijing said it was mobilizing resources nationwide to combat the virus, Japan and Hong Kong stepped up vigilance and Vietnam banned imports of Chinese poultry.

 

 

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Apr
03

• Two infections of H7N9 bird flu, involving one death, were reported in east China’s Zhejiang Province.
• The total number of infected people in China has been brought to nine, local authorities said.
• No epidemiological connection between the two cases has been found so far.

(Xinhua) — Two infections of H7N9 bird flu, involving one death, have been reported in east China’s Zhejiang Province, bringing the total number of infected people in the country to nine, local authorities said on Wednesday.

One of the infected has already died, said a statement issued by the provincial health department.

According to the statement, a 38-year-old chef surnamed Hong died on March 27. The man, who worked in Jiangsu Province, where four other cases of H7N9 bird flu have been identified, became ill on March 7 and returned to his home in Jiande, Zhejiang, where he was admitted to a hospital on March 18.

The provincial and national disease control centers confirmed on Monday and Wednesday, respectively, that he was infected with H7N9 avian influenza.

The other patient, a retired Hangzhou man surnamed Yang, was admitted to a hospital on March 25 with a cough and fever. He was transferred to another hospital for better treatment and remains hospitalized, according to the statement.

Provincial and national health authorities confirmed on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively, that he is infected with the H7N9 avian influenza virus, the statement said.

No epidemiological connection between the two cases has been found so far.

A total of 183 people who came into contact with the two men have so far shown no symptoms of fever or respiratory illness, the statement added.

Zhejiang has initiated an emergency response for epidemics based on regulations of the Ministry of Health, and relevant departments have been asked to take precautionary actions toward disease control.

Seven other H7N9 bird flu cases had been reported previously, two in Shanghai, one in Anhui and four in Jiangsu. The two in Shanghai died and the other five are in critical conditions under treatment in Nanjing, capital of Jiangsu.

Authorities in Chinese regions have ordered health institutions to step up monitoring.

On Wednesday, Pang Xinghuo, spokesman for the Beijing Municipal Disease Control and Prevention Center, said the capital would not rule out the possibility of H7N9 cases popping up.

“With a massive population flow every day, the metropolitan area cannot rule out H7N9 risks. However, with the battle experiences of SARS and H1N1 influenza outbreaks, the city has been well prepared for epidemic control,” according to Pang.

He said the center has ordered hospitals to include H7N9 bird flu testing in routine monitoring and to train hospital staff on how to treat pneumonia caused by unknown factors.

The subtype of H7N9 bird flu virus has not been contracted to human beings before. It shows no signs of being highly contagious among humans, according to the clinical observation on the cases’ close contacts.

However, as few cases of human infection of H7N9 have been found, relatively little research has been done on it. There are no vaccines against the H7N9 bird flu virus either at home or abroad.

China steps up monitoring after more H7N9 bird flu cases

Authorities in Chinese regions have ordered health institutions to step up monitoring of H7N9 bird flu as four more cases were reported Tuesday.

Four people in east China’s Jiangsu Province have been confirmed as being infected with the lesser-known H7N9 bird flu, bringing the total number of infections in the country to seven.

Statistics on pneumonia cases caused by unknown reasons will be reported daily in Shanghai where two people died from the first known human infections of the bird flu strain, the municipal government said in a press briefing Tuesday.

The city government will also set up an expert team to evaluate the severity and risk of the H7N9 bird flu, to step up research on the virus, and to closely watch the infections and people who have been in contact with them, it said.

On Monday, the Shanghai Animal Disease Prevention and Control Center tested 34 samples of pig carcasses pulled from the Huangpu River running through the city and providing it drinking water. It found no bird flu viruses.

Thousands of dead pigs were retrieved from the Huangpu River last month, sparking huge panic as well as satire among the public over tap water safety.

The health authorities in Jiangsu have designated 16 leading hospitals to accept new cases in a bid to offer better treatment and reduce the mortality rate.

The health bureau in Beijing has ordered hospitals to include the testing of H7N9 bird flu in routine monitoring and to train hospital staff on how to treat pneumonia caused by unknown factors.

Health authorities in Shandong Province have ordered morning tests of fever, cough and other respiratory symptoms at schools, nurseries and poultry farms.

The four patients, from four cities in Jiangsu Province, are in critical conditions and under emergency treatment, the Jiangsu provincial health bureau said Tuesday in a statement.

The four were confirmed as human infections with H7N9 avian influenza by an expert team summoned by the provincial health bureau, based on clinical observations, laboratory tests and epidemiological surveys Tuesday afternoon, the statement said. No mutual infections were discovered among them.

A total of 167 people who had come into contact with the four showed no symptoms of fever or respiratory illnesses, it said.

The four included a 45-year-old woman from Nanjing, a 48-year-old woman from Suqian, a 83-year-old man from Suzhou, and a 32-year-old woman from Wuxi, it said.

The woman in Jiangning district of Nanjing, surnamed Xu, fell ill with flu symptoms on March 19. She was transferred to a hospital intensive care unit in Nanjing on March 27 after her condition worsened, the statement said. She is a poultry culler.

The woman from Shuyang county of Suqian City fell ill on March 19 and was transferred to a hospital intensive care unit in Nanjing on March 30.

Tests by the Jiangsu provincial center for disease control and prevention found the two women positive of the H7N9 strain on March 30 and further tests by the Chinese center for disease control and prevention confirmed the results on April 2.

The man from Wujiang district of Suzhou City became ill on March 20 and was admitted to a local hospital on March 29. He was first tested positive of H7N9 bird flu on April 1.

The woman from Binhu district of Wuxi City fell ill on March 21 and was transferred to an intensive care unit of a hospital in Wuxi after her condition worsened on March 28. She was first tested positive of H7N9 bird flu on March 31.

On Sunday, three H7N9 bird flu cases were reported, two in Shanghai and one in Anhui, the first human infections of the bird flu strain. The two in Shanghai died and the one from Anhui is in critical condition and under treatment in Nanjing.

It is unclear how the three got infected, and no mutual infections were discovered among them, said the National Health and Family Planning Commission Sunday. No abnormalities were detected among 88 of their closest contacts.

The subtype of H7N9 bird flu virus has not been contracted to human beings before. The virus shows no signs of being highly contagious among humans, according to the clinical observation on the cases’ close contacts.