Updated: 02/04/2014 18:37 | By Agence France-Presse

China reports three new H7N9 bird flu deaths

Three Chinese people have died of the H7N9 bird flu, the state news agency Xinhua said on Tuesday, adding to a spike in cases this year. 


China reports three new H7N9 bird flu deaths

Officials wearing masks and protective suits pile dead chickens into black plastic bags in Hong Kong on January 28, 2014 - by Philippe Lopez

Two men, ages 76 and 52, died in southern Guangdong province on Monday, while a third patient passed away in eastern Jiangsu province on Saturday, Xinhua said in separate reports, citing provincial health authorities. 

Two new cases were also reported -- a four-year-old girl in Guangdong in stable condition, and a 59-year-old woman in Jiangsu in critical condition.

So far this year China has confirmed 115 human H7N9 cases, including 25 deaths, according to an AFP tally of reports by local authorities. 

By comparison in 2013 there were 144 infections and 46 deaths, according to official figures.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said last week that the rise in cases this year was not surprising due to seasonal factors, rather than a virus mutation.

The same week Hong Kong was forced to cull up to 20,000 chickens after finding H7N9 present in poultry imported from mainland China, days before the Lunar New Year celebrations.

Mainland China's H7N9 outbreak among humans began in February 2013, triggering concerns that the virus could mutate to become easily transmissible among people, potentially triggering a pandemic.

Both Chinese authorities and the WHO have said there has been no evidence so far of sustained human-to-human transmission.

But limited spread – such as among relatives who have been in close contact – is possible. Last week a couple and their daughter contracted the H7N9 bird flu eastern Zhejiang, China's worst-hit province, Xinhua reported at the time.

Latest Photo Galleries on xinmsn

NEWS VIDEOS

MORE NEWS VIDEOS

facebook recommendations

LIVE NEWS RADIO STREAMING

  • 938 Live

    938LIVE is Singapore's only English news and talk station which transmits round the clock with an engaging and enticing spread of programmes on current affairs, health, business and lifestyle as well as news every half hour until midnight.

  • Capital 958


    95.8FM城市频道的前身是"第三广播网"。上个世纪30年代末,新加坡就有中文广播,一路走来经过不少政治,社会局势的改变,中文广播在本地一直扮演举足轻重的角色。