China says no plan to close border over bird flu22/11/2005 - 10:09:19
China will step up measures to combat its “serious epidemic” of bird flu, but has no plan to shut its borders to contain the disease, a foreign ministry official today.
“The government is making all efforts to combat bird flu, which is a serious epidemic in China,” said foreign ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao.
China yesterday reported two new poultry outbreaks – the country’s 16th and 17th in recent weeks – amid a nationwide effort to vaccinate billions of poultry against the virulent H5N1 strain of the virus.
China has reported one human fatality, plus the death of a girl who was a suspected case.
“We are still facing serious challenges in terms of prevention of bird flu,” Liu said.
“We will step up our efforts in order to resolve this bird flu issue as soon as possible.”
Experts fear that the H5N1 virus could mutate into a form that can easily be passed from human to human, sparking a pandemic.
“I have yet to hear anything about a border closing plan,” Liu said.
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