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China passes to Russia H7N9 virus strain

May 15, 2013, 11:40 UTC+3
“So far the situation with the virus is under control," head of the Russian Federal Consumer Rights Protection and Human Health Control Service said
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Photo EPA/ITAR-TASS

Photo EPA/ITAR-TASS

MOSCOW, May 15 (Itar-Tass) - China has passed to Russia the H7N9 virus strain, head of the Russian Federal Consumer Rights Protection and Human Health Control Service (Rospotrebnadzor) Gennady Onishchenko said at a press conference at Itar-Tass on Wednesday.

“So far the situation with the virus is under control. China has kindly provided us the strain, and we plan to study it from a genetic point of view, to try its immunogenicity and consider it as a candidate strain for a possible vaccine, if this situation develops in the next season,” Onishchenko said, adding that “so far the World expert community that deals with influenza does not give such data.”

There have been 130 infected with the virus in China; according to recent reports, 36 diseased people have died. “The Chinese authorities are raising alarm, saying that the country’s economy has already lost 20 million US dollars,” Onishchenko said. “It was a blow to white meat. Poultry trade has been banned in Beijing and Shanghai. It has caused an economic slump,” he said.

According to him, Rospotrebnadzor has been monitoring the situation. Onishchenko said that “Russia has tourist itineraries with China’s bordering areas, and the agency has warned Russians about the situation.” “Tourists have heard our calls. We have noticed a major decrease in the number of tourists in this area during the May holidays,” he said. “We will continue to conduct the monitoring. But at the moment we can say that its results are negative,” he concluded.

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