Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 September 2014

New bird flu 'spreads more easily'

A family watches a worker spray disinfectant in Naidong village, where a boy tested positive for the H7N9 virus (AP)

A lethal new strain of bird flu that has emerged in China over the past month appears to spread more easily from birds to humans than the one that killed people in Asia a decade ago, the World Health Organisation said.

Scientists are watching the H7N9 virus closely to see if it could spark a global pandemic although there is little evidence to show the virus can spread easily from human to human.

Health officials at a news conference in Beijing said they believe the infections with the H7N9 strain are primarily taking place at live poultry markets.

The virus has infected more than 100 people in China, making most of them seriously ill and killing around 20, mostly near the eastern coast around Shanghai.

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