China boosts flu response as cases rise
SHANGHAI - Agence France-Presse
Visitors watch worker using a cage to catch pigeons in Shanghai. AP photoChina confirmed today two more cases of bird flu in Shanghai, as authorities sought to curb a deadly outbreak by banning live poultry sales and disinfecting schools.
The announcement brought the number of recorded cases of the H7N9 strain of avian influenza in China’s developed eastern region to 20 since announcing a week ago that the virus had been found in humans for the first time. Six people have died, including four in the commercial city of Shanghai which has recorded 10 cases of the disease.
They came as China stepped up efforts to halt the deadly outbreak with state media saying “intense” farming methods had heightened the risk of deadly diseases crossing from animals to humans. The Education Ministry ordered schools nationwide to “guarantee” the health of students against infectious disease, including H7N9, by ensuring the safety of food and monitoring for symptoms of illness.
In Shanghai workers sprayed disinfectant in classrooms, local television showed, while markets were closed to halt the spread of the disease. Shanghai had already banned live poultry trading.