Over sixty people in China have contracted the H7N9 bird flu strain, and 13 of them have died. Source: PhotoXpress
Keeping the latest outbreak of bird flu in mind, Russian medics are conducting medical checkups of tourist groups returning from China. At the moment, all visitors returning from the country have their temperature taken. So far, no cases of H7N9 have been registered, says, Dmitry Maslov, a representative of the Federal Service for Supervision of Consumer Protection and Welfare (Rospotrebnadzor).
He said prevention of the disease is made more difficult by the fact that China is not sharing any information about the outbreak of H7N9 with the Russian sanitary officials.
The Chinese media report that a total of over sixty people have contracted the H7N9 bird flu strain, and 13 of them have died. The largest number of cases has been registered in Shanghai, where nine out of 24 patients have died. So far, no cases have been recorded of the virus being transmitted between humans.
“We are stepping up information work among tourists, asking them to refrain from travelling to China,” a Rospotrebnadzor spokesman told RIA Novosti.
Chief Sanitary Inspector of Russia Gennady Onishchenko said the authorities are not yet planning to impose any bans but, if the disease spreads, they will act “appropriately to the situation.”
Onishchenko told journalists that, on transport routes to China, mandatory temperature taking has been introduced and passengers. The authorities are also employing train and flight crews with experience of identifying the sick.
So far, we do not understand the mechanism of the disease because humans hardly have any contact with birds in big cities. Because H7N9 has always been transmitted from birds to humans, the matter needs to be looked into. The most vulnerable point is when people travel by air and the disease may be brought to Moscow within hours,” Onishchenko said.
He noted that the Chinese authorities were taking strong measures to block the disease, shutting markets, introducing quarantines and confiscating poultry meat but the disease was still spreading.
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