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.

The new strain of the flu had been confined to the eastern city of Shanghai and nearby Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Anhui until Saturday when the first case was reported in Beijing.

In total 60 people have been infected and 13 have died of the disease since Chinese authorities announced two weeks ago they had found H7N9 in humans for the first time.

Two new cases were reported in Henan on Sunday by Xinhua state news agency, as government websites also announced four new instances in Zhejiang, two in Jiangsu and three in Shanghai along with two deaths in existing cases.

Nine of the 11 new victims were male and seven of them were in their sixties and seventies.

The Beijing-based patient was the seven-year-old daughter of poultry traders and her condition had improved.

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

But the World Health Organization (WHO) said last week there was as yet no evidence of human-to-human transmission of H7N9.

The close contacts of the victims reported on Sunday were under observation but none were reported so far to have displayed abnormal symptoms.

Health authorities in China say they do not know exactly how the virus is spreading, but it is believed to be crossing from birds to humans, prompting mass culls in several cities.

Beijing has halted poultry trading and banned the flying of pigeons, China National Radio reported on Sunday.

The United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization has said H7N9 shows "affinity" to humans while causing "very mild or no disease" in infected poultry, making it more difficult to find the source of transmission.

In 2003 Chinese authorities were accused of trying to cover up the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, which went on to kill about 800 people worldwide.

But China has been praised for transparency over H7N9, with the WHO saying it was pleased with the level of information sharing and US scientists congratulating it for "the apparent speed with which the H7N9 virus was identified" in a New England Journal of Medicine article.

China has said it expects to have a vaccine ready in seven months but in the article the US experts said developing one could take "many months".

Explore further: First human H7N9 bird flu case in Beijing: officials (Update)

Related Stories

First human H7N9 bird flu case in Beijing: officials (Update)

April 13, 2013
A seven-year-old girl is Beijing's first human case of H7N9 bird flu, local authorities said on Saturday as China's outbreak of the disease spread to the capital.

Sixth H7N9 bird flu death as China culls poultry

April 5, 2013
A sixth person has died of H7N9 bird flu in China, state media said Friday, after authorities slaughtered poultry in a mass cull at a Shanghai market where the virus has been detected.

China reports 2 more cases of new bird flu virus

April 6, 2013
Shanghai has reported two more cases of human infection of a new strain of bird flu, raising the number of cases in eastern China to 18. Six of the people who contracted the virus have died.

Hong Kong girl tests negative for H7N9 (Update)

April 5, 2013
A seven-year-old Hong Kong girl has tested negative for the H7N9 flu virus, officials said Friday, after she became the city's first suspected case of the disease that has killed six killed on mainland China.

H7N9 vaccine may take months, CDC says (Update)

April 12, 2013
US public health experts said developing a vaccine for the H7N9 strain of bird flu could take "many months", as China seeks to control an outbreak which had killed 11 people by Friday.

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 ...

Recommended for you

New approach could help curtail hospitalizations due to influenza infection

January 18, 2018
More than 700,000 Americans were hospitalized due to illnesses associated with the seasonal flu during the 2014-15 flu season, according to federal estimates. A radical new approach to vaccine development at UCLA may help ...

Flu may be spread just by breathing, new study shows; coughing and sneezing not required

January 18, 2018
It is easier to spread the influenza virus (flu) than previously thought, according to a new University of Maryland-led study released today. People commonly believe that they can catch the flu by exposure to droplets from ...

Certain flu virus mutations may compensate for fitness costs of other mutations

January 18, 2018
Seasonal flu viruses continually undergo mutations that help them evade the human immune system, but some of these mutations can reduce a virus's potency. According to new research published in PLOS Pathogens, certain mutations ...

Zika virus damages placenta, which may explain malformed babies

January 18, 2018
Though the Zika virus is widely known for a recent outbreak that caused children to be born with microencephaly, or having a small head, and other malformations, scientists have struggled to explain how the virus affects ...

Study reveals how MRSA infection compromises lymphatic function

January 17, 2018
Infections of the skin or other soft tissues with the hard-to-treat MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) bacteria appear to permanently compromise the lymphatic system, which is crucial to immune system function. ...

Fresh approach to tuberculosis vaccine offers better protection

January 17, 2018
A unique platform that resulted in a promising HIV vaccine has also led to a new, highly effective vaccine against tuberculosis that is moving toward testing in humans.

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Lurker2358
not rated yet Apr 14, 2013
China has said it expects to have a vaccine ready in seven months but in the article the US experts said developing one could take "many months".


Shouldn't they send samples to other countries and have everyone develop a vaccine in parallel, so that all the countries are prepared? Or isn't that already done?

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.