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Chinese disease control experts warn public to stay alert for bird flu

Staff Writer |
Chinese disease control experts warned the public to stay on the alert for H7N9 avian flu, Xinhua reported.

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H7N9 bird flu has caused at least nine deaths in China this year, bringing the total death toll from the virus to 29 since the outbreak started in December.

China had 106 cases of human infections last month, according to the National Health and Family Planning Commission.

China has also confirmed five bird flu outbreaks among poultry this winter, which has led to the culling of more than 175,000 birds.

The current China outbreaks appear isolated. The virus is likely to strike in winter and spring, and farmers have in recent years ramped up measures such as cleaning regimes to prevent the disease.

The most recent bird flu outbreak hit a goose farm in China's southern Hunan province, killing 1,054 birds, said the Ministry of Agriculture.

Local government culled 2,067 more birds after the outbreak, the fifth among poultry since October, bringing the total cull to more than 175,000 birds since then.

China has also closed some live poultry markets after people and chickens were infected by the avian flu strains.

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