Bird Flu Alert: China Confirms H5N2 Outbreak

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By Johnlee Varghese | December 22, 2013 10:56 PM EST

China has confirmed an outbreak of the H5N2 bird flu in poultry farms in the North China province, a report published by a Chinese daily said with information from the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture.

The Xinhua report stated that the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture has confirmed the outbreak of the deadly strain that is said to have caused the death of over 4,000 chickens.

The Ministry of Agriculture that had sent in a team to collect the sample to confirm the avian flu epidemic has now sealed off and sterilised the area.
Following the confirmation of the outbreak, the ministry also ordered for the culling of over 125,700 chickens to prevent the spread of the disease. The report also stated that areas within 3 km of the farms in north China's Hebei Province, have been sealed off.

Avian influenza or bird flu, as is commonly known, is a deadly contagious disease of animal origin that is caused by viruses that normally infects birds and, less commonly, pigs.

The bird flu has been detected in five humans in China. Four cases of bird flu with H7N9 strain were confirmed from South China's Guangdong province and one person has died. The diseased elderly woman reportedly got infected with the H10N8 strain in East China's Jiangxi province.

The National Health and Family Planning Commission of China had tightened supervision of pneumonia and flu cases after the detection of the new H10N8 bird flu strain in a human over the past few weeks.

Bird flu outbreak is found to be common in China and several strains of bird flu have broken out in China in the last several years. 
The H7N9 strain was first detected in China in March 2013. As per a report from the World Health Organisation, there have been 137 laboratory-confirmed human cases of H7N9 virus in China that have caused a total of 45 deaths. In its October report, WHO had called in for "an enhanced surveillance of the virus" as it feared more cases could be expected.

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