H7N9 bird flu virus has spread to North-Eastern China

23 Apr 2013, 11:09
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H7N9 bird flu virus has spread to North-Eastern China

A 36-year-old man from Shandong, north-eastern province in China, has been discovered carrying the H7N9 strain of bird flu, official Chinese news agency Xinhua informed on Monday.


It is the first H7N9 case in the region. The man has been put in Zaozhuang city hospital and is in stable condition.


While nine people who were in close contact with him are under monitoring, in one of the eastern Chinese provinces, Zhejiang, two more cases of bird flu have been discovered, - Xinhua also said.


World Health organization is closely involved in the bird flu observation and study in China.


WHO's assistant director-general for health, security and the environment, Keiji Fukuda said that the international team of health experts has already started its own investigation in Shanghai area.


This particular bird flu strain has already killed 20 people, and it is still unclear how people contract it.


According to WHO statements, there has not been found any evidence of human-to-human transmission yet.


"Right now we are in the middle of our work. We have not come up with any final conclusions, and I think it is too early to say," Fukuda said to journalists.


At the same time, WHO's representative of China, Michael O'Leary, presented data on Friday showing that half of the patients investigated have not had any contacts with fowl. He also said that human-to-human transmission seems to be very rare.


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