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China to increase int'l H7N9 cooperation


15:55, April 08, 2013

BEIJING, April 8 (Xinhua) -- China will update countries on the H7N9 bird flu and seek more cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO), a health official said at a Monday press conference.

WHO and China's neighboring countries, as well as Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, will be updated on the situation, according to Liang Wannian, director of the H7N9 influenza prevention and control office under the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC).

China will accept site inspections, communicate with foreign experts and provide samples of the H7N9 avian influenza to WHO in accordance with international health regulations, Liang said.

"China reported the first case of H7N9 to WHO soon after the case was confirmed," said Liang, adding that the government will continue to report confirmed cases to WHO in a timely manner.

Liang said H7N9 prevention and control efforts have been reported to WHO and the first sample of the virus has been shared with labs affiliated with the organization.

"We have maintained close cooperation with WHO in clinical research and epidemiology," said Liang, "We will boost cooperation regarding the study of the virus, including its pathological condition, infection rate and recovery rate."

Research on the virus has already begun as part of preparations to produce a vaccine, Liang said.

Liang said WHO has provided China with great support in assessing and analyzing the virus.

WHO representative Dr. Michael O'Leary said at the press conference that the organization has been closely communicating with the Chinese government over the last two weeks.

"We are very satisfied and pleased with the level of information shared and we believe we have been kept fully updated on the situation," O'Leary said.

A few years ago, Chinese virus labs became the center of global cooperation regarding the sharing of virus-related information, O'Leary said.

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