Fourth death in China due to deadly bird flu; cases rise to 11

One more person today died in China due to the deadly H7N9 bird flu, taking the death toll to four even as the total number of cases of the new strain of avian influenza in the country rose to eleven.

A 48-year-old man died of H7N9 bird flu in east China's Shanghai Municipality today, the third in the municipality and the fourth in the country, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

The man, surnamed Chu and a native of Rugao in Jiangsu Province, was a poultry transporter and developed symptoms of coughing on March 28.

He went to a private clinic following a fever on Monday and then sought help in the Tongji Hospital in Shanghai in the early hours yesterday after his condition worsened but died three hours after being admitted.

He was confirmed to have been infected with the H7N9 virus today. Eight persons who had close contact with him have shown no abnormal symptoms, the report said.

The number of persons infected with the virulent disease in China totalled 11, according to Xinhua, amid rising public concerns as the new strain, discovered in the country in the past few weeks, has no medicine or vaccine to cure it.

A 64-year-old man from Huzhou City in east China's Zhejiang Province was diagnosed to have contracted the H7N9 bird flu strain after he tested positive following a March 29 illness, the provincial centre for disease control and prevention said yesterday.

Meanwhile, a man in central China's Hunan Province died from an H1N1 flu strain.
The 50-year old, surnamed Zhang, died on Monday after emergency treatment for more than a week failed in Yueyang, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Zhang was admitted to the No. 2 People's Hospital in Yueyang on March 26 with symptoms of fever and cough. He was later transferred to an intensive care unit after suffering from breathing difficulties.

A test by the city's centre for disease control and prevention found Zhang was positive on March 27 for a new strain of the H1N1 flu that has similar symptoms as the H1N1 flu and can spread among humans. He died on April 1.

Medical staff involved in the emergency treatment did not contract the H1N1 virus and family members of the deceased are still under medical observation in quarantine.

With spread of the deadly H7N9 flu, China's health authorities have promised transparency and cooperation to the World Health Organization, Xinhua reported.

The National Health and Family Planning Commission briefed officials from the WHO China office on the latest developments in H7N9 avian influenza infections and the country's countermeasures, an official statement here said today.

"China will maintain open and transparent exchanges with the WHO and other countries and regions, step up monitoring and adopt proper measures," the statement said

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