April 6, 2013
Experts have praised China for its increased
transparency in handling public health incidents, after the emergence of
the lesser-known H7N9 bird flu, which has killed six people since the
deadly strain was exposed a week ago.
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.
"China has learned a lesson from the past in dealing with public
health emergencies," said Prof. Wang Yukai of the Chinese Academy of
"The government's response to the disease is completely different
from 10 years ago, when information disclosure systems were not