Intrigue in the bird flu saga. A four-year-old boy in Beijing tested positive for H7N9 yesterday, according to the Beijing Municipal Health Bureau, but he has yet to show any symptoms.
The boy’s parents, traders of poultry and fish, voluntarily went in to Beijing’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for tests recently. Only the boy’s came back positive.
The health bureau has sent him to Ditan Hospital for monitoring.
As of last night, Xinhua reports there have been 60 confirmed cases of H7N9, with 13 deaths. (The four-year-old boy is not counted in those 60.) Shanghai has reported the most cases, with 24 (nine fatalities).
Meanwhile, a World Health Organization official said what we’ve been saying all along: the disease most certainly should spread. Reports AP: “It’s not the case that everyone confirmed to be infected with H7N9 was ‘clustered in one small area with the same source of exposure,’ said Michael O’Leary, head of WHO’s office in China. ‘So we’ve been expecting new cases to occur. … Furthermore, we still expect that there will be other cases.’”
All that matters for now: still no human-to-human transmission.