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China sets out new plan to deal with bird flu outbreak

BEIJING, May 11 (UPI) — Local health officials in China have been ordered to increase flu monitoring in the country’s battle against the spread of the H7N9 bird flu, documents show.

Instructions from the National Health and Family Planning Commission feature an upgraded plan for prevention and control of the new strain of the disease, China’s Xinhua news agency reported Friday.

The new plan says any confirmed clusters of H7N9 infections in humans should be reported to health authorities within two hours.

Counties where the strain is confirmed in humans should put a two-week monitoring program in place, the instructions say. During that period, samples should be taken from infected patients to determine if they have H7N9.

In addition, medical facilities receiving patients with flu-like symptoms should ask if they have been exposed to birds or live poultry.

Since late March, China has confirmed 130 cases of H7N9. Some 32 people have died.

Copyright 2013 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

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