Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Let the Panic Begin!

Wood chips, drying in Hengchun.

New cases suspected.... it's spreading!!!!!
Test results have cleared three suspected cases of H7N9 avian influenza infection, as 10 new suspected cases were reported, the Central Epidemic Disease Surveillance Command Center said yesterday.
Virus uncovered in poultry markets in Shanghai. Meanwhile, in Taiwan....

Six suspected cases of H7N9 virus found in Taiwan, but four cleared.....
CDC Deputy Director-General Chou Chih-hau (周志浩) said on Thursday that six people reported fever symptoms after arriving in Taiwan from China recently. Two of them were infected with the H1N1 influenza, two people had bacterial infections, while diagnoses for two people was yet be confirmed.
Changhua County to reinforce blood tests for poultry.

Taiwan's travel industry is taking its time to size up the bird flu threat.
Taiwan's travel industry is apprehensive about the uncertainty and public anxiety being caused by the H7N9 bird-flu virus and has shown a rare reluctance to gauge the potential impact of the outbreak of the disease in China. Usually quick to openly assess the effect of global incidents on the travel market -- including during the latest tensions on the Korean Peninsula and the 2011 earthquake in Japan -- industry insiders said they would need time to digest the situation in China.
DOH says vaccines can be produced in as little as two months:
The task force convened its first meeting yesterday. Lin said that two Taiwan experts currently in Shanghai were expected to obtain the H7N9 virus strain from the Mainland, which would be used to produce the rapid screening reagent. Lin also noted that a cross-Strait agreement on disease control cooperation had been signed in 2010, but this was not the only channel for the DOH to obtain the virus strain. He said that Taiwan had obtained virus strains from the World Health Organization (WHO) when an outbreak of SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) occurred in Asia in 2002-3.
The DOH also said it would develop its own vaccine rather than work with Beijing. CDC staff on way to China to gather information, samples. In Taichung monitoring measures are being stepped up to handle the outbreak. Nantou has prepared 44 isolation rooms for patients if H7N9 appears in Taiwan. Health officials have been calling on hot pot restaurants telling them not to serve raw eggs.

Some reality from a commentary in the TT:
There have been no reports of birds infected with this virus strain in Taiwan, nor of any human-to-human transmission. We cannot keep people from the areas in which the outbreak has occurred from coming to Taiwan, but if they do, they will not cause an outbreak here.
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