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April 8, 2013

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Home » Metro » Health and Science

Shanghai reports more H7N9 cases

Shanghai yesterday reported two more cases of human infection from a new strain of bird flu, and a patient in Anhui Province was also confirmed with the virus, raising the number of cases in China to 21. The death toll remains at six.

Health officials believe people are contracting the H7N9 virus through direct contact with infected fowl and say there's no evidence the virus is spreading easily between people.

The new Shanghai patients brought the total number of cases in the city to 10. Four have died, while the six others, including a four-year-old boy, are being treated in isolation, the Shanghai Health and Family Planning Commission said.

The new Shanghai cases are a 59-year-old man surnamed Shen from eastern Anhui Province, and a 67-year-old Shanghai man surnamed Li.

Shen had been suffering frequent fevers and coughing since March 25. At first he bought medicine at a drugstore but went to the Tangzhen Neighborhood Health Center in the Pudong New Area on March 30 and the Pudong New Area People's Hospital on April 1 after his symptoms showed no signs of improvement.

At Renji Hospital's Pudong branch, he was diagnosed with severe pneumonia on April 4.

Shen tested positive for H7N9 on Saturday night, the Shanghai Center for Disease Control and Prevention said.

His four close contacts did not have any flu-like symptoms.

His condition is the more severe of the two new cases as he has other medical problems.

Li's body ached and he had a fever on March 29. He went to a branch of the Shanghai No. 1 People's Hospital in Songjiang District on March 30 and was diagnosed with pneumonia.

Early yesterday, he tested positive for H7N9 virus.

He is said to be in a stable condition and his two close contacts haven't exhibited flu-like symptoms.

The third case is a 55-year-old poultry worker from Anhui's Bozhou City, also surnamed Li. He is in a stable condition and none of his close contacts have any flu-like symptoms

By yesterday afternoon, 194 close contacts of Shanghai's 10 H7N9 cases had been examined.

Two who had symptoms like fever, coughing or sore throat were isolated at the Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center but both tested negative for H7N9.

Dr Lu Hongzhou, the center's vice president and the city's leading expert on infectious diseases, said that, so far, there was no evidence to show H7N9 virus can spread among humans.

"No medical staff with close contact to the 10 patients were infected with the virus and their family members were not infected," Lu said.

The center has designated a building with 88 beds specially for H7N9 infected patients and there are eight wards equipped with systems to prevent any airborne spread of the virus.

By Saturday night, 98,662 birds slaughtered in Shanghai to prevent the spread of H7N9 had been cremated.

All live poultry markets have been shut and all live poultry trade banned, including sales at roadside stalls and the trade in waterfowl and wild birds.

Eighteen street stalls were shut yesterday. City restaurants were also checked, but no violations were found.

Airports in the city have also tightened checks on passengers to ensure anyone with the virus doesn't take it abroad.


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