New Bird Flu Strain Claims Lives in China

Two Shanghai men have died from a new strain of bird flu, H7N9, and at least five others were diagnosed with the virus. The Associated Press reported it's the first known instances of deaths from the strain, and Chinese authorities were unclear how the victims became infected. The disease is considered a low pathogenic strain that cannot easily be contracted by humans, and "there is apparently no evidence of human-to-human transmission, and transmission of the virus appears to be inefficient," regional World Health Organization spokesman Timothy O'Leary said. The agency is reportedly "closely monitoring the situation," and the Chinese government is as well, according to the AP. While urging the public to stay calm, the health bureau has mandated that hospitals report any severe cases of pneumonia and is monitoring workers at poultry farms or who come in contact with birds.

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