China approves anti-flu drug with H7N9 potential
Updated: 2013-04-07 00:17
BEIJING - China has approved a new type of flu drug that it believes may be effective in treating H7N9 bird flu virus.
According to a statement issued by the China Food and Drug Administration on Saturday, the potential of injections of peramivir diluted in sodium chloride injection has been proven by preliminary tests.
Peramivir is a neuraminidase inhibitor.
As of Saturday morning, China has confirmed 16 H7N9 cases, with six people dead.
Three major cities in China have suspended trade in live poultry while the rest of the country remains on edge after 18 cases of H7N9 in humans have been reported in East China.
On Saturday, Shanghai, Nanjing and Hangzhou placed bans on the sale and trade of live poultry, city officials said. Two new cases of the bird-flu strain were reported in Shanghai, bringing the total of confirmed cases in the city to eight as of 7 pm, and the number nationwide to 18. Elsewhere, six cases were reported in Jiangsu province, three in Zhejiang and one in Anhui.[Full Story]
Two more people were confirmed infected with the deadly H7N9 bird flu strain that has claimed the lives of six people nationwide, local authorities said Saturday.
The two male patients, 66 and 74 years old, respectively, developed flu symptoms late last month and were diagnosed with pneumonia over the past two days, the city's health and family planning commission said in a statement.[Full story]
The Chinese government has been credited with timely releases of information about the H7N9 bird flu, whereas in 2003, authorities were criticized for initially trying to cover up an epidemic of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) which claimed the lives of several hundred people on the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan. [Full story]