The number of reported cases of the H7N9 strain of bird flu in China is continuing to rise. Eleven new cases have been reported bringing the total number of infected people to 60.
Concern is increasing as the virus has now been reported in the central province of Henan and the capital Beijing. Although the cases do not seem to be connected it is thought that the virus is being spread through direct contact with infected poultry.
“There’s no way to predict how it will spread but it’s not surprising if we have new cases in different places like we do in Beijing,” told Michael O’Leary, the WHO’s representative in China.
Included within the infected people, is a seven year-old child in the capital of Beijing whose parents work in the poultry trade, the China Centre for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed.
Sinovac Biotech, the first company to win regulatory approval for a swine flu shot in 2009, is preparing to make immunisations against the new virus, but will hold off producing the shots until it’s received an order from the state, said Chief Executive Officer Yin Weidong.
The total number of deaths has now risen to 13.