News / Asia

    WHO: No Proof of Bird Flu Transmission to Humans in China

    Chickens sit inside cages after a New Taipei City Department of Environmental Protection worker sprayed sterilizing anti-H7N9 virus disinfectant around chicken stalls on April 8, 2013.
    Chickens sit inside cages after a New Taipei City Department of Environmental Protection worker sprayed sterilizing anti-H7N9 virus disinfectant around chicken stalls on April 8, 2013.
    The World Health Organization’s top representative in China said there are no signs that a new bird flu virus that has already left seven dead here is being transmitted between people and adddes there is no reason for panic.
     
    Most of the deaths and confirmed infections from a total of 24 confirmed cases of H7N9 in China have occurred in the country’s massive eastern city Shanghai. While most of the infections have been traced back to the handling of infected birds, one of the first reported cases is raising greater concern. Two sons of a man who died from H7N9 later developed respiratory illness.
     
    One of the sons died, but Chinese authorities now say bird flu was not the cause of his death.
     
    Michael O'Leary, the WHO's representative in China, said while several members of the family fell ill, there is no evidence at this time that the disease can be passed from one human to another.
     
    "So far, we really only have sporadic cases of a rare disease, and perhaps it will remain that way," he said. "So this is not a time for over-reaction or panic or that sort of thing. These are a relatively small number of serious cases with personal health, medical implications but not at this stage known public health implications.”
     
    O’Leary said there is still much to be learned about the virus and that because it is new, there is no way to predict the pattern it will follow.
     
    "Now that the virus is identified, laboratories can now look for it specifically," he added. "So we would expect that in neighboring countries as well and other places if there are serious unexplained cases of influenza, they would now begin to look for this virus and we would see. But we know so far still that is limited to only a small number of provinces even in China. We don't know of other cases elsewhere.”
     
    O’Leary was speaking at a news conference in Beijing on Monday, along with the head of China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission. He praised China’s efforts to mobilize resources to monitor several hundred people who have come into contact with those who were infected.
     
    Although some of the first deaths from the disease happened early last month, it took authorities in China three weeks to determine the new bird flu was the source of the illness. That has led some newspapers and Chinese Internet users to openly wonder about the cause for the delay and to express concerns about a cover-up. The Chinese government says the delay was the result of the time it took to understand the new virus.

    In 2002, Chinese authorities initially tried to cover-up the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which emerged in China. The disease eventually spread across the the globe leaving more than 800 people dead.
     
    Concerns that Asia could see another epidemic similar to SARS weighed on markets across the region Monday, with most closing lower.

    You May Like

    Russia Sees Brexit Impact Widespread but Temporary

    Officials, citizens react to Britain’s vote to exit European Union with mix of pleasure, understanding and concern

    Obama Encourages Entrepreneurs to Seek Global Interconnection

    President tells entrepreneurs at global summit at Stanford University to find mentors, push ahead with new ideas on day after Britain voters decide to exit EU

    Video Some US Gun Owners Support Gun Control

    Defying the stereotype, Dave Makings says he'd give up his assault rifle for a comprehensive program to reduce gun violence

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora