Published: 2 Apr 2013
Health authorities ordered medical staff to strengthen monitoring and prepare isolation units for possible new infections with H7N9 avian influenza on Tuesday, amid rumours that doctors had already found more cases in eastern China.
The bureau asked hospitals in Beijing to prepare for emergencies and stockpile adequate medical supplies, adding that no infections were reported among the city's 20 million people by Tuesday.
Similar measures were reportedly ordered in Shanghai and other major cities, as well as in Hong Kong and Taiwan.
An unconfirmed hospital report posted on the popular, Twitter-like microblogging website Weibo said health experts in the eastern city of Nanjing, close to Shanghai, gave "preliminary confirmation" of H7N9 in a 45-year-old woman who worked as a poultry butcher.
The user of the microblog posted a photograph of the hospital report and was listed as an "administrative director" of a hospital in Nanjing.
Concern was also raised after two sons of an 87-year-old Shanghai man who died of H7N9 were both treated for severe pneumonia, from which one of them died.
The government has so far reported only three confirmed infections.