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New bird flu virus adds to China health fears

Wednesday, Apr 03, 2013 - 01:45

April 3, 2013 - Jane Lanhee Lee reports on a new spate of bird flu cases in China that has alarmed citizens grappling with earlier livestock-related health scares and reticent authorities.

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EDITORS NOTE: CONTAINS CONVERTED 4:3 MATERIAL (SOUNDBITE) (English) REUTERS REPORTER, JANE LANHEE LEE, SAYING: "Behind me is the traditional wet market on the outskirts of Shanghai where a 27-year-old who died last month of bird flu worked as a pork butcher." The Shanghai government confirmed on Sunday that 2 patients who died in march with symptoms of pneumonia had in fact been infected by H7N9 virus - a new strain of bird flu that hadn't before been found in humans. There are now seven confirmed cases in China, five of them in provinces near Shanghai. The Shanghai government in a press conference late Tuesday said so far there is no evidence that the virus can be transmitted between humans, although it's still investigating the case. So far there are no wider outbreaks of bird flu reported among China's poultry farms. (SOUNDBITE) (English) REUTERS REPORTER, JANE LANHEE LEE, SAYING: "In the market however, people are angry. They feel the government isn't forthcoming enough with the information." The rumour here is that Wu the butcher went to the hospital with the flu and contracted the virus from an 87-year-old man who died of bird flu before him. (SOUNDBITE) (English) REUTERS REPORTER, JANE LANHEE LEE, SAYING: "Memories are still fresh of the 2003 outbreak of SARS, which emerged from China and was initially covered up before it spiraled into a global health crisis." The new bird flu cases have put the authorities on high alert. All this comes only weeks after Shanghai had to deal with over ten thousand dead pigs found floating in its main waterway and the cause of that is still unknown. (SOUNDBITE) (English) REUTERS REPORTER, JANE LANHEE LEE, SAYING: "The authorities have said that bird flu and the dead pigs are so far not related, but one thing's for sure it's going to continue to face questions from an increasingly jittery public. This is Jane Lanhee Lee. Reporting from Shanghai." ENDS

New bird flu virus adds to China health fears

Wednesday, Apr 03, 2013 - 01:45

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