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China claims first recovery from bird flu

Four-year-old boy from Shanghai discharged from hospital, according to state media, amid reports of five new H7N9 cases.

Last Modified: 10 Apr 2013 17:02
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A four-year-old boy has recovered from a new strain of bird flu that has killed nine people in China, according to state media.

Xinhua news agency reported on Wednesday that the child from Shanghai was among 33 people confirmed to have been infected with the H7N9 virus, and that he was the first to completely recover and be discharged from a hospital.

A doctor at the Infectious Disease Department of the Paediatric Hospital, affiliated with Shanghai's Fudan University, confirmed the boy had recovered and left the hospital, but said she did not know if it was the first recovery from H7N9.

However, five new cases of H7N9 infection were reported on Wednesday: two  in Shanghai, two in bordering Jiangsu province, and one in Zhejiang province, according to the websites of the provincial and city health authorities.

Li Keqiang, China's premier, told cabinet members that efforts to prevent and contain the virus were proceeding in an orderly manner and would be extended into areas including standardisation of treatment and international cooperation.

"Overall, the outbreak is at a stage where it can be prevented and contained," he said.

Detentions reported

Xinhua also said on Wednesday that police in southwest China detained 10 people for spreading rumours online that the H7N9 virus had been detected in a live poultry market in Guizhou province.

The detained, spanning six provinces, had allegedly posted "fake information" online.

The Xian city public security bureau in Shaanxi province is investigating another man's posts, "to prevent untrue information from causing public panic", Xinhua said.

Against this backdrop, Indonesia has announced that it is suspending the import of poultry products from China.

Rusman Heriawan, Indonesian vice agriculture minister, said the ban was signed on Wednesday and would be lifted after the Chinese government confirms the country is free of the virus.

China announced the first known cases on March 31, causing concern among experts worldwide because it was the first time the strain of bird flu has been known to infect humans.

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