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China protects pandas from possible H1N1 pandemic

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Cats can get the H1N1 virus. So can dogs, ferrets and (obviously) pigs. But what about endangered species like giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca)?

China isn't waiting around for an answer. Last week, the panda section of the Shaanxi Wild Animal Rescue and Research Center was closed to visitors and to most volunteers after a surge in human H1N1 cases in the area. Only the center's five full-time panda caregivers and two veterinarians are now allowed to enter the pandas' living quarters. "For safety considerations, they have to wear masks and gloves before entering the panda houses," deputy security chief Jin Xuelin told the Xinhua News Agency. Even these approved staffers are being tested for flu symptoms twice a day to further protect the animals.
 
 

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