China’s poultry industry seeks to keep lid on H7N9 cases

C129N0056H_2014資料照片_N71_copy1Pressure from poultry businesses has put the clamp on information flowing from local authorities in Guangdong province to media outlets regarding new human cases of the H7N9 bird flu virus, reports the state newswire Xinhua. According to government statistics, China recorded 110 confirmed cases of H7N9 human infections, including 20 deaths between Jan. 1-28. However, Guangdong authorities have stopped providing media outlets with the latest information on H7N9 cases, and the section on patients’ history of contact with birds has been removed from updates recently published. Xinhua said that the changes are linked to poultry businesses, which have been deeply affected by the emergence of H7N9 cases since April last year. Local poultry industry groups in Guangdong and Guangxi, as well as companies and national associations, Xinhua said, urged the government to stop making announcements case-by-case to avoid intensive media coverage. These groups believe information about the H7N9 situation should not be heavily addressed, since China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission removed the disease from its list of highly infectious diseases on Oct. 28. More
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