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New Strain of Avian Flu in China — New Developments

Written by Ronald St. John

April 15, 2013

New Strain of Avian Flu in China — New Developments

As of now, 60 people have been infected with the new H7N9 bird flu in China. There have been 13 deaths, and many of the cases remain in the hospital in critical condition. Of the 60 cases, 24 have been reported in Shanghai, 16 in Jiangsu, 15 in Zhejiang, 2 in Anhui and 1 in Beijing.

There are 2 new developments. For the first time, 2 cases were identified in a new province, Henan Province. Secondly, while checking the contacts of the Beijing case, authorities discovered a 4 year old boy who was found to be infected with the virus but is completely well. It is difficult to interpret this finding, but it might suggest that the virus can spread in humans without causing serious illness. More research is needed to confirm this finding.

There are more reports that all the close personal contacts of the infected people are all well without showing any signs of illness. The World Health Organization has not advised any travel restrictions but travellers to China should avoid all live poultry markets for the time being.

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