Chinese New Year Increase Risk of Spreading Bird Flu

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While number of people diagnosed with H7N9 rises in China this month, the Chinese New Year adds an additional risk of possibly spreading of the disease. World Health Organization said that it is essential to take some precautions during this time. “There are lots of traveling around this time of year when it comes to celebrating the New Year in China,” WHO Spokesperson Glenn Thomas told VOA Tibetan Service. “And we have issued new guidance essentially just to make sure that people are aware་ that this virus is around and that you can take some steps to prevent possible infection.” He said some of the important steps are to avoid bird markets, following good food-hygiene practices, and not handling possibly infected birds. This is the time when most Chinese in Tibet travel to China to reunite with their families and also many Tibetans travel during the winter season. According to the China Association for Preservation and Development of Tibetan Culture, Spring Festival is the busiest season for Chinese airline operations in Tibet.