Beijing: The number of people infected with the new H7N9 strain of bird flu in China stands at 38 with the detection of five more cases, while a four-year-old boy who had experienced slight symptoms made a complete recovery. Ten people have died of the virus. By regions, Shanghai continues to have the greatest number of cases, with 15, followed by Jiangsu with 10, Zhejiang with 6 and Anhui with 2, all in eastern China.
The National Health and Family Planning Commission said that among the people who have been in direct contact with infected people medical authorities have not detected a single abnormal symptom or the slightest sign of an "epidemic relationship" among them. In addition, the commission said that the infected people have been isolated and that no person-to-person contagion has been detected.
Reports suggest that the new strain is a genetic mix involving South Korean migratory birds, and domestic ducks and chickens. Chinese authorities say they have found 14 more H7N9-positive poultry samples in east China. Experts say the likely cause of the mutation is a virus carried by wild birds that migrated from South Korea. The virus then mixed with a virus in local ducks and chickens. Chinese authorities have ordered three provinces to shut down marketplaces from which samples were taken and cull all live poultry there.
(With Additional Inputs From IANS)