Death toll from bird flu rises to 7 in China

by Meat&Poultry Staff
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SHANGHAI – A seventh person died from the H7N9 bird flu virus, and three new cases were confirmed bringing the total to 24, according the China’s Xinhua news agency.

The latest person to succumb to the flu was a 64-year-old retired man in Shanghai. One confirmed case is a 59-year-old Shanghai man who became ill on March 25 and is now in critical condition, the UN's World Health Organization reported. The second confirmed patient is a 55-year-old man from Anhui who became ill on March 28 and is now in stable condition. The third patient is a 67-year-old man from Shanghai who became ill on March 29 and is considered a mild case. Shanghai has recorded the most cases with 11, and five people have died from the virus.

Cities in eastern China have culled more than 98,000 birds and closed live poultry markets, among other precautionary measures, according to news reports. Local media are reporting that some schools and airlines have declined to serve poultry, although public health officials have said consuming cooked poultry products is safe. The H7N9 virus is considered a low pathogenic strain that isn't easily contracted by humans, and no human-to-human transmission has been confirmed.

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