Move over, H5N1. There’s a new strain of bird flu that can infect and kill humans — though currently it does not appear to be contagious.
Xinhua reports that three humans came down with H7N9 avian influenza recently in Shanghai and Anhui province. The two from Shanghai are dead, while the other, a 35-year-old woman from Chuzhou City, is in critical condition. Worryingly, while one of the victims was 87 years old, the other was only 27, and died less than two weeks after falling ill.
There is some good news though:
So far, the commission said, it is unclear how the three got infected, and no mutual infections were discovered among them. Besides, no abnormalities were detected among 88 of their close contacts.
The subtype of H7N9 bird flu virus has not been contracted to human beings before. The virus shows no signs of being highly contagious among humans, according to the clinical observation on the cases’ close contacts.
The World Health Organization is aware of the situation, according to AP.