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China

BASIC FACTS

  • January 2004: first cases reported in Guangxi, Hunan and Hubei provinces. Later reports also came from Anhui, Liaoning, Shanghai and Guangdong provinces.
     
  • As of August 2006, there have been 88 recorded outbreaks of HPAI in 23 provinces infecting an estimated 300,000 chickens. In addition to outbreaks in domestic poultry, H5N1 has been also been confirmed in wild bird populations in Xinjiang and Tibet Provinces.
     
  • As of September 2006, there have been 21 recorded human cases in 12 provinces, which have resulted in 14 deaths.

 

For updated information on human cases, see the World Health Organization's situation updates and  confirmed human cases. For updates on animal cases, see the  Food and Agriculture Organization's Avian Influenza bulletin, based on the  World Organization for Animal Health's (OiE) reports.

 

 

 

 

 


COUNTRY PROGRAM

 

China has a critical role to play in the international response to the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI.) The size of the country, the significance of China's poultry industry locally and internationally, the frequency of avian flu outbreaks to date, and the country's large population underscore the scale and scope of the challenge facing the country.

 

There has been no confirmation of human-to-human infection to date, although it has been noted that some human infections have occurred in provinces that have yet to record avian flu among poultry, suggesting some deficiencies in surveillance and disease reporting at lower tiers of government.

 

The Government of China has articulated an HPAI response that aims to strengthen human and animal disease prevention and control systems, promote a compulsory mass vaccination policy, strengthen disease reporting and surveillance, strengthen the animal health inspection system, promote animal husbandry techniques that are less conducive to disease, and raise awareness among the general population of the threat posed by HPAI and to identify mitigating measures.

 

Detailed technical assessments of China's response to date undertaken by the World Bank, the United Nations System and other development partners in November and December 2005 have noted that while significant progress has been made, a number of weaknesses remain in early warning and surveillance capacity, particularly at the grassroots level. The ability of rapid response teams, also at the grassroots, to adequately investigate and contain human clusters of disease with outbreak potential was being hampered by limited support from  higher levels of government.  Given the scale of the country, it is important to identify means by which the overall response and its coordination can be improved by the wide range of ministries and agencies involved -- especially those operating at the local level.

 

In coordination with its partners, the Bank is developing a grant proposal for US$2.65 million to pilot a rapid response system at the sub-provincial or county level, identified as an area of particular weakness and as a very high priority by the Government.  Liaoning and Anhui are the provinces that will host this innovative, two-year capacity building project.  The grant will also provide limited support to central government authorities to provide technical assistance to the pilot operations and to develop the knowledge sharing activities that will support the exchange of international experience and emerging operational good practice.

 

Both Liaoning (population 40.77 million and comprising 100 counties) and Anhui (population 64.16 million and comprising 105 counties) have experienced HPAI outbreaks in poultry as well as human cases and each typifies a distinct mode of animal husbandry. Liaoning is characterized as a largely intensive farming system, while Anhui is predominated by backyard farming practices. 

 

Activities will focus on enhancing prevention and control of animal-to-animal, animal-to-human, and human-to-human transmission and aim to strengthen the national plan for HPAI and human pandemic influenza, and to establish mechanisms to enhance transparent, real time multi-sectoral communication between officials involved in the response at all levels of government.




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