Bird flu has claimed the lives of two people in China. According to an official agency, the H7N9 strain of avian influenza has never previously been seen in humans.
The two men, aged 87 and 27, contracted the virus in late February and died in early March in Shanghai, one of China’s largest cities. Another woman in nearby Anghui province is in a critical condition in hospital.
Euronews spoke to Shanghai resident Zhang Dong’er. He said, “I was shocked when I heard the news about bird flu because we haven’t heard anything like this for a long time. I was worried when I learned that two men have already died as a result of bird flu.”
Lio Lujie also lives in the same city and expressed worries about public knowledge of the issue. “We’re all concerned that the virus might spread further after this incident. Now it seems nothing can be done, not everyone is aware of the problem, and not everybody will be able to take precautions against it”.
All three cases displayed similar symptoms – a high fever and coughing that developed into pneumonia. China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission has said that the virus doesn’t seem highly contagious as none of the victims’ close contacts showed any health abnormalities.
Despite their reassurances, there is as yet no known vaccine for the virus.