Bloomberg News

China’s Bird Flu Deaths Rise to 10 as Web Users Held for Rumors

April 11, 2013

China’s death toll from the H7N9 bird flu rose to ten as the number of infections increased to 38 and authorities detained eight people for spreading rumors about the virus.

The latest fatality was a 74-year-old man who died in Shanghai today, the city government announced on its official microblog. He was one of three new H7N9 infections confirmed in China’s financial hub today. Another two cases were reported in the neighboring province of Jiangsu, according to the National Health and Family Planning Commission.

China has said it has enough flu medication to fight the outbreak, and the government is also preparing a vaccine that it expects will be ready within seven months, the official Xinhua News Agency reported today. A gene mutation known to help influenza resist Tamiflu was found in the first of three H7N9 bird-flu patient specimens in China, sequence data show.

Police also detained eight people in the provinces of Zhejiang, Shaanxi, Gansu and Liaoning for spreading rumors on the Internet about the H7N9 virus, Xinhua reported today, citing local authorities. They are being detained for up to ten days for fabricating posts, causing panic among some web users and local residents, according to the report.

In Shanghai, the 74-year-old man who died was hospitalized on April 5 after falling sick on March 31. The city’s two other new infections were an 83-year-old woman who became ill on April 2 and a 68-year-old man who fell ill on April 4. Both are in stable condition, the city said.

Jiangsu’s two new cases were a 31-year-old hotel chef from the city of Yangzhou who fell ill on March 31 and a 56-year-old teacher from the city of Suzhou who fell sick April 3. Both men are in critical condition, the national health agency reported.

Shanghai has accounted for six of the bird flu fatalities in China and 18 of the infections. Confirmed H7N9 cases have only been reported in the city and the provinces of Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Anhui.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Daryl Loo in Beijing at dloo7@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jason Gale at j.gale@bloomberg.net


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