Fourth bird flu death reported in China

Another person died of H7N9 bird flu in China's Shanghai city on Thursday, taking the total number of such deaths in the country to four, reports Xinhua. Three suspected H7N9 cases were also reported in the city, said the Shanghai Municipal Health and Family Planning Commission Thursday. The latest death case involved a 48-year-old man surnamed Chu, who was a native of Rugao in neighbouring Jiangsu province. The man was a poultry transporter. He developed symptoms of coughing March 28. After having fever Monday, he went to a private clinic for treatment. The man then sought help in the Tongji Hospital in Shanghai Wednesday after his condition worsened. Chu died three hours after being admitted to the hospital. He was confirmed to have been infected with the H7N9 virus. Eight people who had close contact with him have shown no abnormal symptoms.

What is bird flu?

Bird flu or avian influenza is an infectious viral disease which normally affects wild birds but can sometimes spread to domestic poultry. Often when this happens, affected birds have to be culled to prevent the virus from spreading. One of the bird flu strains, H5N1 can affect various other species including mammals like humans. It s not particularly dangerous for humans yet. There are some researchers who believe that if this strain mutates and starts spreading between humans it could cause a large scale pandemic.

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