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H7N9 vaccine needs international cooperation

Chinese studies of a H7N9 bird flu vaccine needs technical support and cooperation from the World Health Organization as well as related professional institutions,
Chinese studies of a H7N9 bird flu vaccine needs technical support and cooperation from the World Health Organization (WHO) as well as related professional institutions, an official said on Wednesday.

"It's a hard job to develop the H7N9 vaccine, which can take a long time," said Yang Weizhong, deputy director with the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, at a China-WHO meeting on preventing and dealing with H7N9 bird flu.

Nancy Cox, a WHO official, said that it is wise for some countries to launch early studies of H7N9 vaccines, which will help select suitable H7N9 virus strains for research.

Some countries started to develop bird flu vaccines three years ago, she said, adding that the WHO has organized nations to select from many candidate vaccines via network monitoring global laboratories.

A total of 108 H7N9 cases have been reported in the Chinese mainland, including 23 that have ended in death, since the first infections were announced on March 31. Taiwan reported its first case on Wednesday.

Six more H7N9 bird flu cases reported in China

Six more cases of H7N9 bird flu were reported on Friday in the Chinese provinces of Fujian, Jiangsu, Jiangxi and Zhejiang.

Health authorities in southeast China's Fujian Province confirmed the province's first human case of H7N9 avian influenza.

A 65-year-old man surnamed Luo, a local resident from Gaopo township, Yongding County, Longyan City, showed symptoms of repeated coughing, low fever and a tight chest on April 18. He tested positive for the H7N9 virus at 11 a.m. on Friday by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Thirty-seven people who have been in close contact with Luo have not shown any abnormal symptoms so far.

Also, three men, aged 36, 49 and 60, from three different cities, were confirmed to have caught H7N9 bird flu in Jiangsu Province, according to a statement issued by the provincial health department.

Two of them were in serious condition, said the statement.

In neighboring Zhejiang Province, a 38-year-old farmer surnamed Li was confirmed to have contracted the H7N9 bird flu virus. Li, who is also in serious condition, is receiving treatment in hospital.

In Jiangxi Province, health authorities confirmed the province's second H7N9 bird flu case, a 76-year-old woman surnamed Xiong. She is in critical condition, according to a Jiangxi provincial health department statement.

The case has no family or epidemiological connection with the province's first case, a 69-year-old man also surnamed Xiong.

Health experts found some of the chicken and ducks the woman, a farmer, raised had died, which may be connected with her infection of the virus.

Source: Xinhuanet

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