2 Die of H7N9 Bird Flu Strain in China

Two people died of the H7N9 strain of bird flu in China, the first reported fatalities among at least seven infections on humans in the country.

Both deaths were in Anhui province, west of both Shanghai and Suzhou. Anhui has reported five human infections since Dec. 8.

Authorities have shut some livestock markets and stepped up sterilization in Anhui, which has a population of almost 60 million.

Shanghai, about 100 km (62 miles) southeast of Suzhou, reported last week that a man had been diagnosed with the H7N9 strain after travelling from Jiangsu.

In Xiamen, a city in Fujian province also in the east, authorities halted poultry sales in one district, after a 44-year-old man was diagnosed with H7N9.

Hong Kong and Macau also reported human bird flu infections this past week.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the H7N9 strain does not seem to transmit easily from person to person. There has been no sustained human-to-human infection reported so far.

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