BEIJING, April 3 China has found two new cases
of a new strain of bird flu, and one of the victims has died, in
the eastern city of Hangzhou, state media said on Wednesday,
bringing to nine the number of cases.
State television announced the news on its official
microblog, without giving details.
Of the seven other cases of the new H7N9 strain, two have
died, both in the business hub of Shanghai. The other five are
in a critical condition in hospital in Nanjing.
Shanghai, Nanjing and Hangzhou are all close to each other
in eastern China.
The Agriculture Ministry said it had yet to find any animals
infected with H7N9, though added it was possible it had been
bought to China by migratory birds.
The World Health Organisation said on Monday that the first
three cases had shown no evidence of human-to-human
transmission, but that there were questions to answer about the
source of the infection and the mode of transmission.
China has stepped up its alert level since the cases came to
light and has said it is being transparent in dealing with the
China has a chequered record when it comes to tackling bad
news, which has been known to be covered up by officials fearing
it may attract unwanted attention from superiors and damage
In 2003, authorities initially tried to cover up an epidemic
of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, which emerged in China and
killed about a tenth of the 8,000 people it infected worldwide.
(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Robert Birsel)