Two deaths from bird flu in China have officials on edge. Sunday, Reuters said the deadly new strain of avian influenza (H7N9) has never been seen before. And while Chinese authorities are down-playing any potential human-to-human spread, others are not quite convinced.
In February, two Shanghai men ages, 27 and 87 contracted the bird flu virus and were hospitalized after becoming very sick. Later in March, both patients died from the disease, according to the National Health and Family Planning Commission (or NHFPC).
In both cases, the men presented with normal flu-like symptoms. Then, their conditions worsened and progressed to pneumonia in the end-stages.
Not far away, a woman also was diagnosed with the avian flu virus this month and was listed in critical condition. There is no word on her condition.
The NHFPC conducted tests and learned the type of avian flu that caused the men’s deaths had never been seen before in medical records.
Nonetheless, H7N9 shows not outward signs of being contagious between humans. Still, the news is unsettling about the news strain of influenza.
And without a current vaccine for the new deadly strain, it’s understandable why many are concerned over the two deaths in China.
According to a March 2013 report from the World Health Organization (or WHO), the number of bird flu deaths worldwide since 2003 are 371 with 622 infections.