BEIJING, April 3 China has found two more cases
of a new strain of bird flu and one of the victims has died,
state media said on Wednesday, bringing to nine the number of
A 38-year old cook became ill early last month while working
in the province of Jiangsu, where five of the other cases were
found. He died in hospital in Hangzhou city on March 27, the
Xinhua news agency reported. Samples tested positive for the new
H7N9 strain on Wednesday.
The second patient, also in Hangzhou, is a 67-year old who
is under treatment. Xinhua said no connection between the two
cases had been discovered, and no one in close contact with
either patient had developed any flu-like symptoms.
Of the seven other cases of the new 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
brought 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 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 and David Stanway; Editing by