Tenth Anniversary of SARS

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the outbreak of SARS.
 (Image:   Keith Evans  via   geograph  /  CC BY-SA 2.0)
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the outbreak of SARS. (Image: Keith Evans via geograph / CC BY-SA 2.0)

A new bird flu outbreak causes panic in China. On April 2, the Shanghai Municipal News said that a grade 3 influenza pandemic contingency plan was underway. On April 1, the website of the Beijing WHO office also updated its global warning information. The outbreak of the H7N9 avian flu epidemic has caused public panic in Shanghai.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the outbreak of SARS. The recurrence of H7N9 bird flu has killed four people in Shanghai. Recently, cases of bird flu also appeared in Jiangsu Province. Authorities have not disclosed the source of the virus.

As cases of bird flu increase, people in Mainland China have started to panic and countries surrounding China have also started to worry. Hong Kong and Taiwan have made preparations to keep bird flu from spreading. Following the deaths from H7N9 avian flu in Shanghai and Anhui Province, the Jiangsu Health Department has also confirmed four cases of bird flu.

It is said that there are more similar cases in Shanghai hospitals. A citizen named Guo said that some people are too afraid to buy meat or poultry. Why? They said those dead pigs drifting on the Huangpu River had no effect on us. So many dead pigs, how can the river stay unpolluted?

People feel the flu outbreak may be connected with pigs

According to the Shanghai Municipal Centre for Disease Control survey, Wu Liang Liang, who died from the H7N9 bird flu, was a pork vendor. People suspect that the bird flu is related to dead pigs.

bird flu H7N9

The Health Department of Jiangsu Province said that there is no vaccine currently available to treat H7N9 avian flu. (Image: Christopher via flickr / CC BY 2.0 )

Yon Ou, deputy director of the Shanghai Municipal Agricultural Commission, said that no outbreak of avian flu or swine flu has been found in Shanghai, so it is safe to eat pork and chicken. But many netizens have not been convinced.

A vaccine expert from Mainland China said: “It is reasonable for people to suspect the pigs. They only took a few samples from the dead pigs and that cannot rule out the pigs being the culprit. Thousands of pigs did not come from one pig farm, but from different areas.

A few samples of dead pigs are not representatives of a whole river of dead pigs being free of problems.” The Health Department of Jiangsu Province said that currently, there is no vaccine available at home or abroad.

The vaccine expert from the the mainland points out that the H7N9 avian flu virus is a respiratory tract infection with a high mortality rate, saying:

This year marks the 10th anniversary of SARS. In March 2003, China had a full outbreak of SARS. In April 2003, China’s Ministry of Health held a news conference in Beijing. Zhang Wenkang, the former Health Minister, claimed that the epidemic had been effectively controlled.

He boldly said that it was safe to travel in Beijing. Zhang Wenkang’s remarks misled not only the Chinese people, but also the entire world. At present, Hong Kong and Taiwan are ready to deal with the spread of the H7N9 avian influenza virus.

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