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All provincial regions can test for H7N9


BEIJING - All influenza network laboratories in the 31 provincial regions on China's mainland are now capable of testing for the H7N9 bird flu virus, the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) said Friday.

The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CCDCP) has sent a total of 160,000 samples of test reagents to the laboratories in all the provincial regions, the NHFPC said.

CCDCP director Wang Yu said it developed the test reagents as quickly as possible in a bid to better control H7N9 bird flu.

As of Thursday, a total of 38 people had been infected with H7N9 bird flu in China's mainland, including 10 that have died.

Wang added that the next step of CCDCP's work is to strengthen the monitoring of key regions, including some areas that have had no reports of H7N9 cases so far.

The CCDCP will focus on changes in the virus, such as its drug resistance and variations of its gene sequences, in a bid to find the variation that can lead to human-to-human transmission, Wang said.