Bird flu cases and concerns rising

by Meat&Poultry Staff
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LONG BEACH, Calif. – The bird flu outbreak in China is far from being controlled, according to AvianFluTalk.com. This website was created in 2005 as the first website and online discussion forum to track the threat of an avian flu pandemic.

As of April 17, China has confirmed another four cases of bird flu bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 82 with 16 deaths. All cases but two are still hospitalized with no reports of their condition improving.

The website claims Chinese officials are not updating the public on the condition of those still hospitalized as the death toll continues to increase. China was criticized for covering up the initial SARS outbreak in 2003 as well as waiting 20 days to report the first infected case of the new H7N9 bird flu.

There is no evidence of any cases involving human-to-human transmission, despite reports of two family clusters who had no contact with poultry along with a reported human case in which the infected person displayed no symptoms, but who was dubbed a "carrier" of the virus, WHO and Chinese officials are quick to claim. Earlier this week, officials said approximately 40 percent of all cases had no contact with poultry.

AvianFluTalk stated it is concerned there are more cases involving human-to-human transmission -- and that Chinese officials are under-reporting cases as they try to control this outbreak. Meanwhile, scientists are concerned the bird-flu virus will continue to spread, thus increasing the chance of it mutating further and evolving into a pandemic flu.

For more information, visit www.avianflutalk.com.

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