China reports fifth H7N9 bird flu death (Update 2)

April 4, 2013

A new strain of bird flu has claimed two more lives in China's business capital of Shanghai, taking the total number of human deaths attributed to the H7N9 virus to five, state media said Thursday.

Four of the deaths have occurred in the commercial hub, while the other was reported in the neighbouring province of Zhejiang on Wednesday.

are trying to determine how exactly the new variety of infects people, but say there is no evidence yet of human-to-human transmission.

The total number of confirmed cases now stands at 14, including six from Shanghai, according to the official which cited health authorities.

The first two deaths occurred in February but were not reported by authorities until late March. Officials said the delay in announcing the results was because it took time to determine the cause of the illnesses.

A 48-year-old poultry transporter was among the latest two reported dead Thursday while the identity of the other person was not released. Both were said to have died a day earlier.

Authorities said none of the eight people whom the 48-year-old had close contact with had shown signs of infection.

The World Health Organisation on Wednesday ruled out the possibility of a pandemic because the sub-type is not thought to be transmitted from human to human, unlike the more common H5N1 strain.

But health experts have emphasised the need to quickly identify the source of the virus and its mode of transmission to reduce human exposure.

China's Ministry of Agriculture said Thursday the virus has been detected in pigeon samples collected at a marketplace in Shanghai, according to a Xinhua report, which did not define the nature of the samples.

After gene sequence analysis, the national reference laboratory found the strain of the virus in pigeons to be "highly congenetic with those found on persons infected with H7N9 virus".

The more common strain of bird flu, H5N1, killed more than 360 people globally from 2003 until March 12 this year, according to the WHO.

In another development, a man in the central province of Hunan died from H1N1 (swine) flu on Wednesday, Xinhua reported.

A 2009-2010 resulted in over 18,000 deaths worldwide, according to WHO estimates. But the strain, while highly contagious, is not thought to be more lethal than ordinary flu.

Explore further: China begins poultry cull after bird flu found

Related Stories

China begins poultry cull after bird flu found

April 4, 2013
Authorities in Shanghai began the mass slaughter of poultry at a market after the H7N9 bird flu virus, which has killed five people in China, was detected there, state media said 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 ...

Two die of bird flu in China

January 17, 2015
Two people have died of the H7N9 strain of avian flu in China's eastern province of Fujian, state media said Saturday, quoting local health officials.

China reports another death from H7N9 bird flu (Update)

April 3, 2013
A man in the Chinese province of Zhejiang has died of the H7N9 strain of bird flu, state media said Wednesday, bringing the total deaths attributed to the virus to three since the first human cases.

Two in China first known deaths from H7N9 bird flu

March 31, 2013
Two Shanghai men have died from a lesser-known type of bird flu in the first known human deaths from the strain, and Chinese authorities said Sunday that it wasn't clear how they were infected, but that there was no evidence ...

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

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 ...

Compounds in desert creosote bush could treat giardia and 'brain-eating' amoeba infections

August 15, 2017
Researchers at Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at University of California San Diego and the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus have found that compounds produced by the creosote bush, a ...

New malaria analysis method reveals disease severity in minutes

August 11, 2017
Left untreated, malaria can progress from being mild to severe—and potentially fatal—in 24 hours. So researchers at the University of British Columbia developed a method to quickly and sensitively assess the progression ...

Drug trial shows promise for deadly neurological disorder

August 10, 2017
Results of a small clinical trial show promise for treating a rare neurodegenerative condition that typically kills those afflicted before they reach age 20. The disease, called Niemann-Pick type C (NPC), causes cholesterol ...

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.