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China Bird Flu Update

China on Sunday reported 11 new H7N9 human infections, bringing the total number of such cases around the country to 60, according to Xinhua. As of Sunday, Shanghai Municipality has reported 24 infection cases after three men were confirmed to be infected with the new strain on Saturday afternoon. Shanghai Municipal Health & Family Planning Commission on Saturday afternoon confirmed that the three were tested positive for H7N9 bird flu virus. Twenty-five people, who had closely contact with the three men, have been in medical observation, and none of them has yet shown flu symptoms. Meanwhile, the city also reported two deaths on Sunday, bringing the death toll from H7N9 in the country to 13 as of Sunday. More, the H7N9 bird flu has spread to central China's Henan Province and the capital of Beijing in north after two new infection cases were reported in Henan on Sunday morning and one child were tested positive for the strain on Saturday. As of now, 60 H7N9 human infection cases have been reported nationwide with 24 in Shanghai, 16 in Jiangsu, 15 in Zhejiang, two in Anhui, two in Henan and one in Beijing. Of the 60 infected people, 13 died.

China calling in flu experts from around world as outbreak widens.
Four international flu experts will arrive in China within days to help authorities respond to the country’s widening bird-flu emergency, according to two people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg News reported. Nancy Cox, director of the flu division at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Anne Kelso, director of a World Health Organization flu research center in Melbourne, Malik Peiris from the University of Hong Kong, and Angus Nicoll, head of the Stockholm-based European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control’s flu program, will arrive on about April 17 to offer technical advice. The group will seek to assist Chinese authorities grappling to identify the source and mode of transmission of the H7N9 avian influenza that has infected at least 60 people and killed 13. Beijing Saturday said that a 7-year-old girl has the virus, and Henan province reported its first two cases, opening a new front in the spread of the new pathogen in the world’s most populous nation. “There’s no way to predict how this will spread,” Michael O’Leary, the WHO’s China representative, said. “The good news is we have no evidence of sustained human-to-human transmission. That’s a key factor in this situation.” Link to Bloomberg article.

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