China denies human bird flu death
Shanghai Daily news
China yesterday denied Internet rumors that 112 people died in the northwest
after contracting the bird flu virus from wild geese.
government has updated the number of migratory birds that fell victim to the
H5N1 virus at a nature reserve in Qinghai Province to 519 as of May 18.
is a total rumor that 112 people have died of bird flu," Jia Youling, director
of the Ministry of Agriculture's Veterinary Bureau, yesterday told Shanghai
Daily, citing Internet reports over the casualties.
Jia confirmed that 519
migratory birds, mostly the bar-headed geese, had died from the deadly H5N1 flu
Authorities earlier reported that 178 migratory birds died around the
Qinghai Lake in the northwestern province.
The Ministry of Health said
yesterday there were no reported human cases of bird flu or unexplained
pneumonia since the avian flu was confirmed at the nature reserve.
ministry said in a statement that authorities have found no evidence that bird
flu had spread to humans and domestic poultry.
It also said the bird flu
epidemic at Qinghai Lake was the latest outbreak since H5N1 was found last July
in chickens in Chaohu City, Anhui Province.
The health authority attributed
the death of the 178 bar-headed geese to the avian flu on May 21.
the report, Qinghai authorities suspended tourism at a bird island on Qinghai
Lake, the country's largest saltwater lake.
The 0.27-square-kilometer island
is home to more than 100,000 birds including rare species such as swans,
black-necked cranes and brown-headed gull. Large numbers of visitors flock to
the area to watch birds each year.
Bar-headed geese are under second-tier
state protection for wildlife.
Geese deaths were first reported in
Niannaisuoma Village of Gangcha County on May 4.
Qinghai health officials
screened all pneumonia and flu-like cases, setting up a network to share
information. They urged residents to take special precautions, the Ministry of
Consumption of birds found dead has been banned, it
Researchers in northern China have developed two new vaccines capable
of preventing the H5N1 strain of bird flu from spreading among birds, animals or
humans. The medicine was sent to Gangcha County.
The vaccines are reportedly
more effective than others in preventing spread of the virus among water fowl.
They also reportedly extend immunity to chickens by four