After a patient in the Fifth People’s Hospital of Shanghai failed to be properly diagnosed for a week, the first case of human infection of H7N9,a new strain of avian influenza (bird flu), was discovered. According to Shu Yuelong, deputy chief of Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention,the virus’s characteristics, origin, and evolution are still unclear. “Rather than making guesses, we’re relying on intensive network monitoring,”said Shu.
As of 11 p.m., April 16, a total of 77 H7N9 infections had been reported, including 17 fatal cases. According to the National Health and FamilyPlanning Commission of China, infection could still increase before an effective measure to stop the virus at its source is found. A decade ago, theSARS outbreak left China in a state of pandemonium due to a lack of proper disease prevention and an emergency response system. Today, althoughChina’s health authorities and the public are much calmer in the faceof this new strain of flu, many deficiencies remain in disease controland emergency response. Meanwhile, the high medical costs of publichealth emergencies have also gained greater visibility.......