Via CNTV English: Expert calls for enhanced H7N9 screening. Click through for a video clip. Excerpt:
A meeting of experts has been held in the southern province of Guangdong, to discuss the current outbreak of H7N9 bird flu. Experts have reiterated that there is no evidence of human-to-human transmission of the virus. They say scientists are monitoring the situation to see if the outbreak poses a substantial risk to public health.
Health officials say people are contracting the virus through direct contact with infected fowl. Many places in China have now banned poultry trade. However, Zhong Nanshan, a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, says screening for the virus should not be limited to poultry.
Zhong Nanshan, Chinese Academy of Engineering, said, "Analysis shows that the H7N9 virus comes from fowl, including poultry, wild fowl migrating birds and pigeons. We should expand the range of screening as not so many people have direct contact with poultry."
Zhong Nanshan is an expert in respiratory diseases. During the epidemic of SARS in 2003, he led a treatment team and achieved the highest survival rate in the world. He also took part in the design of treatment methods against H1N1 in 2009.
This time, Zhong thinks that despite no evidence of human-to-human transmission, stricter monitoring of H7N9 strain is needed.
Zhong Nanshan, Chinese Academy of Engineering, said, "The earlier we use the screening reagent, the earlier we can detect the disease. This gives us more time to treat the condition and reduce the death rate."