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Bird flu well under control - health minister
Updated: 2005-10-27 16:49

OTTAWA -- The epidemic of bird flu in China has been kept well under control and no human infection has occurred as a result of the government's comprehensive preventive and control measures, Chinese Health Minister Gao Qiang said here after attending a global meeting on pandemic preparedness.

Five Chinese provinces have reported outbreaks of the disease brought about by migratory birds but none has spread and there has been no human case of infection, Gao told a press conference on Tuesday.

Health ministers and officials from 30 countries and eight UN organizations gathered here to discuss responses to the avian flu epidemic and a possible pandemic of human flu.

The Chinese government has attached great importance to the matter and taken comprehensive, systematic measures, which have shown satisfactory results, he said.

Command centers charged with dealing with the disease have been established at various governmental levels and the national command center is chaired by a vice premier of the State Council.

At the same time, a mechanism of joint prevention and joint control has been established between the governments and relevant agencies. As a result, good cooperation among different social sectors and timely responses are guaranteed, said the minister.

A strict surveillance system has also been developed with 192 surveillance sites to ensure swift detection of an outbreak.

Strict control measures, including killing all poultry within three km of the breakout site, and very strict quarantine measures are taken.

The country has also established an open and transparent communications system, ensuring the timely report and information exchange in case of an outbreak.

Measures to develop vaccines and drug have also been strengthened. China has the capacity to produce vaccines and drug against avian influenza and a large number of domestic poultry have been vaccinated, he said.

The research on specific drug for human flu is also under way, the minister disclosed.

China also has very close cooperation with UN agencies and other countries. Frequent information and experience sharing, and technical assistance from outside is also very important, said the minister.

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