Two Chinese provinces ended their emergency response to the H7N9 bird flu on Friday after no new human infections were reported in the past 21 consecutive days, authorities said.
The provincial governments of Jiangsu and Shandong, both in eastern China, have announced an end to the level-IV emergency response to the H7N9 avian influenza outbreak.
Medical observations for those who had close contact with H7N9-infected patients have also ended in these provinces.
Since Jiangsu diagnosed the first case of H7N9 on March 21, a total of 27 human cases of the new strain of avian influenza were reported in the province. Eight of these patients died, 13 recovered and six remain hospitalized, according to a statement issued by the provincial government.
In Shandong Province, only two cases of H7N9 were reported. Both patients recovered and no new cases have been reported in 21 consecutive days.
Health authorities in both provinces said they will continue to enhance control over the H7N9 virus and exert efforts to raise people's awareness on H7N9 prevention.
Shanghai Municipality ended emergency response measures on May 10, and Zhejiang Province ended them on Thursday.
As of May 13, the Chinese mainland had reported a total of 130 confirmed H7N9 cases. Thirty-five of these cases ended in death, and 57 patients have recovered and been discharged from the hospital, according to the National Health and Family Planning Commission, which did not account for the remainder of cases.
(Xinhua News Agency May 17, 2013)