H7N9 infections total rises to 49, as Beijing reports first case

The total of confirmed cases of human infection of the H7N9 avian influenza in China has risen to 49, as six new cases, including the first one in Beijing, were reported on Saturday.

During the 24-hour period ending 5 p.m. on Saturday, China confirmed six new infections, with one each in Beijing and Shanghai, and two each in eastern provinces of Jiangsu and Zhejiang, authorities said.

Citing test results from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention early Saturday, Beijing authorities announced that a seven-year-old girl from the city’s northeast suburbs district of Shunyi was confirmed as infected by the H7N9 bird flu virus.

The child is being treated at Beijing Ditan Hospital and is in stable condition, according to officials at a press briefing.

The girl’s parents, the only ones she has had close contact with, have been placed under medical observation and have not shown any flu symptoms. The couple were engaged in live poultry trade in Shunyi.

This is the first time the H7N9 virus has been found in a human outside east China.

China officially confirmed the first human infections of the H7N9 virus late last month. Shanghai and the three provinces of Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Anhui had been the only locations of infection until the Beijing case.

In Shanghai, a 56-year-old patient surnamed Gu, whose wife died of the H7N9 bird flu on April 3, was confirmed on Saturday as infected by the virus.

There has been no sufficient evidence to indicate that Gu acquired the virus from his wife, said the National Health and Family Planning Commission in an update on the country’s H7N9 cases.

Wu Fan, director with the Shanghai Municipal Disease Prevention and Control Center, also said no evidence showed that the virus is capable of transmissible among humans.

So far, a total of 21 cases have been reported in Shanghai.

The neighboring Zhejiang Province on Saturday confirmed two men aged 65 and 38 respectively as H7N9 cases, bringing the total in the province to 11. Two cases were also confirmed the same day in the Jiangsu Province, where the total number of infections has reached 14.

Elsewhere, Anhui Province has reported two cases.

The new bird flu has killed eleven people in east China, with seven in Shanghai, two in Zhejiang and one each in Jiangsu and Anhui, according to official figures.

Those who have had close contact with people infected by H7N9 have been placed under medical observation and have exhibited no abnormal symptoms, according to officials.


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