BEIJING, Feb. 10 (Xinhua) -- Health experts predicted more H7N9 cases in the near future after east China's Anhui Province reported a new death from the virus on Monday, according to health authorities.
Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Yao Hongwen, spokesman for the National Health and Family Planning Commission, said that there will continue to be sporadic reports of H7N9 infections.
"No mutation of the virus has been identified so far that could affect public health, and transmission from animals remains the only way in which humans have picked up the virus," the spokesman said.
Vaccine development has progressed smoothly, and relevant authorities are promoting vaccine research and making preparations for approval and use of the vaccine, according to Yao.
China has reported more than 120 human H7N9 cases this year, which is close to the total number of cases in 2013. At least 27 deaths have been reported, with the provinces of Zhejiang and Guangdong worst affected.
According to Shu Yuelong, director of the Chinese National Influenza Center, the number of H7N9 cases has soared in early 2014 as people eat more poultry around the Chinese lunar new year.