China bird flu spreads to new province

April 23, 2013

China on Tuesday said the H7N9 bird flu had spread to a new area as it confirmed the first case in the eastern province of Shandong in an outbreak which has so far killed 22 people.

Since China announced on March 31 that the virus had been discovered in humans for the first time, most cases have been confined to the commercial hub Shanghai and three nearby provinces, Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Anhui.

Beijing and the central province of Henan have also reported cases.

The health ministry said a 36-year-old man living in Shandong's Zaozhuang city was confirmed to have the virus, according to a statement on its website.

That case and three other new ones bring the total number of confirmed infections to 108, according to official figures.

Experts fear the prospect of such a virus mutating into a form easily transmissible between humans, which could then have the potential to trigger a pandemic.

But the World Health Organization (WHO) said Monday there was still no evidence H7N9 was spreading in a "sustained" way between people in China, though it was possible some family members may have infected one another.

"Right now we do not see evidence of sustained human-to-human transmission", said Keiji Fukuda, a top WHO influenza expert in a team visiting China to study H7N9.

Health experts differentiate between "sustained" human-to-human transmission and limited transmission, in which family members or medical personnel caring for the ill become infected.

Chinese health officials have acknowledged so-called "family clusters", where members of a single family have become infected, but have so far declined to put it down to human-to-human transmission.

The nine close contacts of the Shandong man were under medical observation, but so far were normal, the health ministry said.

Explore further: No 'sustained' human-to-human transmission of bird flu, WHO says

Related Stories

No 'sustained' human-to-human transmission of bird flu, WHO says

April 22, 2013
A top WHO influenza expert said Monday there was still no evidence H7N9 bird flu was spreading in a "sustained" way between people in China, despite the possibility some family members may have infected one another.

WHO team probes bird flu in Shanghai

April 22, 2013
A World Health Organisation team was due Monday to wrap up a trip to Shanghai, centre of China's bird flu outbreak which has killed 20 people, as part of an investigation into how the virus is spreading.

China H7N9 bird flu area spreads, two new deaths: govt (Update)

April 14, 2013
China's H7N9 bird flu spread west to the central province of Henan on Sunday, as government websites and state media reported two deaths and 11 new cases nationwide.

H7N9 bird flu cases set to climb, but no pandemic: WHO

April 3, 2013
The number of cases of H7N9 bird flu in China looks set to climb as experts identify previously unexplained infections, but a lack of human-to-human transmission means a pandemic is not on the cards, the World Health Organisation ...

20 dead from China bird flu, state media reports (Update)

April 21, 2013
The death toll from a new strain of bird flu in China has reached 20, with dozens infected, state media reported Sunday, as experts said there was no evidence so far of human-to-human transmission.

Death toll hits 16 in China bird flu outbreak

April 16, 2013
H7N9 bird flu has claimed two more lives in Shanghai, Chinese state media said on Tuesday, bringing the death toll from the disease to 16.

Recommended for you

Novel approach to track HIV infection

August 18, 2017
Northwestern Medicine scientists have developed a novel method of tracking HIV infection, allowing the behavior of individual virions—infectious particles—to be connected to infectivity.

Faulty gene linked to obesity in adults

August 18, 2017
Groundbreaking new research linking obesity and metabolic dysfunction to a problem in the energy generators in cells has been published by researchers from the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research and The University ...

Two lung diseases killed 3.6 million in 2015: study

August 17, 2017
The two most common chronic lung diseases claimed 3.6 million lives worldwide in 2015, according to a tally published Thursday in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine.

New test differentiates between Lyme disease, similar illness

August 16, 2017
Lyme disease is the most commonly reported vector-borne illness in the United States. But it can be confused with similar conditions, including Southern Tick-Associated Rash Illness. A team of researchers led by Colorado ...

Addressing superbug resistance with phage therapy

August 16, 2017
International research involving a Monash biologist shows that bacteriophage therapy – a process whereby bacterial viruses attack and destroy specific strains of bacteria - can be used successfully to treat systemic, multidrug ...

Can previous exposure to west Nile alter the course of Zika?

August 15, 2017
West Nile virus is no stranger to the U.S.-Mexico border; thousands of people in the region have contracted the mosquito-borne virus in the past. But could this previous exposure affect how intensely Zika sickens someone ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.