China Declares death toll from bird flu soars to 79 in January but what is the real figure?
China reported as many as 79 fatalities from H7N9 bird flu in January, the government said, far surpassing the number of deaths in recent years and stoking fears about the spread of the deadly virus among the population this winter.
The news released by the National Health and Family Planning Commission late on Tuesday brings the number killed since October to 100. January’s total far surpasses numbers for January over the past three years, which ranged between 20 and 31.
Some 192 people were infected last month, the commission said, bringing the total since October to 306.
The latest data will reinforce concerns about the spread of the virus among humans as neighbouring South Korea and Japan also battle major outbreaks among their poultry flocks.
Chinese disease control experts have warned the public to stay alert for H7N9 avian flu. The virus usually strikes in winter and spring, and farmers have in recent years ramped up measures such as cleaning regimes to prevent the disease.
Many major cities in the world’s third-largest producer of broiler chickens and the second-biggest consumer of poultry have also closed some live poultry markets after people and chickens were infected by avian flu strains.
China has confirmed five bird flu outbreaks among poultry this winter, which has led to the culling of more than 175,000 birds.
Widespread infection can lead to severe health risks and big financial losses. The last major outbreak in China was in 2013, causing more than US$6 billion in losses for the agricultural sector. SCMP
Drug resistant bacteria found in China’s poultry production chain – British government report estimates antibiotic resistance would kill 10 million people yearly around the globe by 2050, more than cancer.ReplyDelete
Superbugs are bacteria that are resistant to antibiotic drugs.
British government report estimates antibiotic resistance would kill 10 million people yearly around the globe by 2050, more than cancer.
But the new study suggests a grimmer picture.
Action needed on misuse of antibiotics in livestock farming
More than 87 per cent of the chicken meat sold in supermarkets in China’s Shandong province was contaminated by a superbug gene called mcr-1, according to a paper published in the journal Nature Microbiology on Monday.
Bacteria carrying the mcr-1 gene was resistant to colistin, one of the “last-resort” antibiotics used only after the failure of other drugs.
The researchers traced the spread of the bacteria from slaughterhouse to hatcheries. The highest detection rate was recorded in chicken farms, where 97 per cent of samples were contaminated.
Superbug infections found in Chinese hospitals, medical journal study finds
The researchers detected the gene of another superbug strain, ndm-1, which originates in India and was rarely reported in poultry in China before.
The findings suggested that “the level of environmental contamination is underestimated”, the authors wrote in the paper.
US woman dies of infection resistant to all 26 available antibiotics
But the researchers said the government should still take action. They noted that Beijing would ban the use of colistin in the farming sector beginning in April, but said this was far from enough.
Although new drugs can be developed, the pace of this development cannot catch up with the speed of bacteria evolution.
Call for regulation after antibiotic resistant superbug found in 60 per cent of tested Hong Kong chickens
One new antibiotic was discovered last year – the first in three decades.
The researchers made other important discoveries, such as finding that flies in chicken farms carry a large amount of drug-resistant genes. It was the first confirmation that flies can transmit superbugs.
Dogs on chicken farms were also found to carry superbug genes. They can pass the superbugs directly onto humans.