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Published On: Wed, Apr 17th, 2013

WHO China H7N9 bird flu update: 82 confirmed cases, 17 deaths

Chinese health authorities have notified the World Health Organization (WHO) of 19 new confirmed cases of human H7N9 avian influenza from Zhejiang Province, Shanghai Municipality and Jiangsu Province, according to a WHO Global Alert and Response today.

photo wattpublishing www.WATTAgNet.com. via Flickr

photo wattpublishing www.WATTAgNet.com. via Flickr

To date, a total of 82 patients have been laboratory-confirmed with human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus in China. In addition, three previously reported positive patients have died, bringing that total to 17.

Well over one thousand close contacts of the victims are being monitored for the disease.

According to the WHO, some of the confirmed cases had contact with animals or with an animal environment. The virus has been found in a pigeon in a market in Shanghai. It is not yet known how persons became infected. The possibility of animal-to-human transmission is being investigated, as is the possibility of person-to-person transmission.

WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl confirmed that “there are people who have no history of contact with poultry”, after a top Chinese scientist was quoted as saying this applied to about 40 percent of those infected.

“This is one of the puzzles still (to) be solved and therefore argues for a wide investigation net,” he told Reuters.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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