China raises flu response; activates emergency planTHE Associated Press | April 03,2013BEIJING — China’s financial capital, Shanghai, activated an emergency plan Tuesday that calls for heightened monitoring of suspicious flu cases following the recent deaths of two men from a lesser-known strain of bird flu.
Under the contingency plan, schools, hospitals and retirement facilities are to be on the alert for fevers, and administrators are to report to health authorities if there are more than five cases of flu in a week. Cases of severe pneumonia with unclear causes are to be reported daily by hospitals to health bureaus, up from the weekly norm. The plan also called for stronger monitoring of people who work at poultry farms or are exposed to birds.
The level-3 response plan, the second-lowest in a four-stage scale, reflects higher concern after the H7N9 bird flu virus led to the deaths of two men in Shanghai and seriously sickened a woman in the city of Chuzhou 230 miles west.
“The health bureau will take effective and powerful measures to prevent and control the disease, to make sure the flu epidemic is effectively guarded against and to safeguard the health of the city’s residents,” said Xu Jianguang, head of the Shanghai Health Bureau.
Since the new cases were reported Sunday, China’s health agency has said specialists are investigating how the three became infected with the virus.
The H7N9 strain, so named for the combination of proteins on its surface, has previously been considered not easily transmitted to humans, unlike the more virulent H5N1 strain, which began ravaging poultry across Asia in 2003 and has since killed 360 people worldwide.
Health officials said this week there was no evidence that any of the three, who were infected over the past two months, had contracted the disease from each other, and no sign of infection in the 88 people who had closest contact with them.
Unverified reports on Chinese microblogs Tuesday said a fourth case of H7N9 surfaced in the eastern city of Nanjing. A post on the Sina Corporation’s Weibo microblog appeared to be a photo of a patient record saying a 45-year-old woman in the city who works as a poultry butcher was critically ill and that a provincial disease center confirmed a diagnosis of H7N9. The record indicated that the woman suffered from severe flu-like symptoms and was in intensive care, dependent on a respirator, at the Gulou Hospital.MORE IN Wire NewsWASHINGTON — Declaring an end to “mindless austerity,” President Barack Obama called for a surge ... Full StoryWASHINGTON — Declaring an end to “mindless austerity,” President Barack Obama called for a surge ... Full StoryNEW YORK — Thirty-five years after the disappearance of a 6-year-old boy in Manhattan ushered in ... Full Story
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: On Jan. 31, 2002, Berkshire Armored Car Co. in Rutland's Howe Center was robbed of $1.9 million. Brent Curtis reports some of the surprising details he found in 10 years of FBI investigation files in a 5-part Herald series.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: In 1835, deranged house painter attempts to kill Pres. Andrew Jackson; in 1969, Beatles play last live public performance on roof of Apple Corps building, London; in 1935, poet Richard Brautigan born in Tacoma, Washington.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Maple syrup standards revised to match international standards; city must decide how best to use $300K in leftover sewer project money; Bryanna Allen reports on funding proposal for solar projects; local agency gets HUD money.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1393, quick thinking teen girl saves King Charles IV of France from burning alive at masquerade ball; in 1760, Vermont town of Pownal created by N.H. Gov. Benning Wentworth; Canuplin, Filipino movie star, born.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day, 1700, Cascadia Earthquake, Magnitude 9 plus, strikes West Coast with tsunami effects felt as far away as Japan; in 1885, troops loyal to Sudanese Mohammad Ahmad conquer Khartoum; in 1992, Boris Yeltsin untargets U.S.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 971 AD, Southern Han war elephant corps defeated by Song Dynasty troops bowmen; in 1870, Montana, Marias massacre, U.S. kills 173 Native Americans; in 1941, Charles Lindbergh recommends neutrality pact with Nazis.