Published: 2 May 2013
The death toll from the H7N9 bird flu virus has risen to 27, state media
said Thursday after a man died in central China's Hunan Province.
The 55-year-old whose surname was given as Jiao died on Wednesday
after receiving medical treatment, state news agency Xinhua said, citing
More than 120 people have been diagnosed with
the virus since it was first reported in late March, with most cases
confined to eastern China.
The only one reported outside the
mainland has been in Taiwan. That victim was infected in China, but led
to Asian countries urging renewed vigilance against the virus.
fear the possibility of the virus mutating into a form easily
transmissible between humans, with the potential to trigger a pandemic.
World Health Organization has said so far there is no evidence of
human-to-human transmission but warned H7N9 is "one of the most lethal"
influenza viruses ever seen, and urged travellers against contact with
Chinese researchers, reporting in The Lancet a week ago, said they had confirmed poultry as a source of the virus.
health officials have acknowledged so-called "family clusters", where
members of a single family have become infected, but have not
established any confirmed instances of human-to-human transmission.
of the cases reported have not yet resulted in death, and some patients
have been discharged from hospital after apparently recovering.
China confirmed 19 new cases of the virus in the week leading up to May 1, Xinhua said.
the number new cases in Shanghai has seen a "dramatic slowdown", Nancy
Cox, director of the influenza division at the US Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention said last week, describing the slowdown as "very