A new and deadly strain of bird flu is threatening two eastern Chinese provinces, with health authorities and virologists suspecting that a virus mutation is the link between the dead pigs that floated past Shanghai, dead migratory birds in north China, and the deaths of three people.
Two new cases of H7N9 bird flu, one of them fatal, have been reported in east China’s Zhejiang Province, bringing the total number of infections in the country to nine, according to a report by Chinese regime’s state media Xinhua.
Seven other H7N9 bird flu cases had been reported previously, with two people dying in Shanghai, one critical case in Anhui and four critical cases in Jiangsu, according to the report.
None of those who died had any links to poultry, though one of the men who died, Mr. Wu, was a pork butcher, according to the Guardian and Shanghai Daily.
On April 2, following the deaths of the two men, Shanghai authorities issued a level-three flu alert, the second-lowest stage of four levels. The authorities also claimed that no new cases had been reported in Shanghai.
However, Hong Kong newspaper Wen Wei Po reported that Shanghai authorities failed to report five previous severe cases of pneumonia caused by unidentified pathogens. The cases tested negative for SARS, but it reminded unclear if the cases have been tested for bird flu virus or not.
A respiratory specialist working in a Shanghai hospital spoke on condition of anonymity to Wen Wei Pao, saying that the hospital has seen a dramatic increase in severe cases of pneumonia caused by unidentified pathogens, with five cases in a two-week period in March. Usually they only treat an average of two to three cases in a one-year period, the source said.
The first fatalities included an 87-year-old male surnamed Li, who became ill on Feb. 19 and died on March 4, and a 27-year-old male surnamed Wu who became ill on Feb. 27 and died on March 10, Xinhua reported.
Hong Kong’s Apple Daily reported that Wu was admitted to Shanghai’s Fifth People’s Hospital on March 3 with a diagnosis of regular pneumonia. He was hospitalized on the same floor as Li, the first victim. On March 6 his family members were told that Wu was in critical condition. Wu’s wife suspected that Wu contracted the H7N9 virus from Li since the hospital staff did not take any quarantine measures during Li’s stay on the same floor.
source - http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/china-news/deadly-new-bird-flu-virus-in-china-possibly-linked-to-dead-pigs-373030.html