News / Health

First Probable Person-to-Person Bird Flu Case Reported in China

 A girl infected with the new H7N9 bird flu strain draws a picture with a nurse at Ditan Hospital in Beijing, April 2013.
A girl infected with the new H7N9 bird flu strain draws a picture with a nurse at Ditan Hospital in Beijing, April 2013.
VOA News
Scientists researching a new strain of bird flu in eastern China are reporting the first case of probable person-to-person transmission of the so-called H7N9 virus.

The findings were reported Tuesday in the British Medical Journal and focus on the case of an adult woman and her 60-year-old father, who became ill in March after a routine visit to a live poultry market. Despite medical care and eventual hospitalization, the father died six weeks later.  

Researchers say most patients appear to have visited live poultry markets or otherwise had close contact with live birds seven to 10 days before the onset of the illness, which has sickened more than 100 people and resulted in 43 deaths since first appearing in March.

In the father-daughter case, the report says the previously healthy 32-year-old woman had no direct exposure to live poultry. But she provided direct and unprotected bedside care for her ailing father, and became sick about a week after her last contact with him. She died one month later.

Despite the fatalities, the report stresses that the ability of the virus to transmit itself still appears "limited and non-sustainable."

It also says medical investigators interviewed 43 close contacts with the father and daughter - all of whom were tested for the virus. All tested negative.

In April, Chinese scientists said they feared that H7N9 had in some cases spread from human to human. The World Health Organization later said there was no firm evidence, though, that this was the case.

Chinese scientists have scrambled to develop vaccines and other treatments for the H7N9 strain, while health authorities earlier this year slaughtered hundreds of thousands of birds in live markets to bring the outbreak under control.

China's official Xinhua news agency said emergency virus control procedures were lifted in May in eastern provinces and major cities, including Shanghai, Jiangsu and Shandong, where most of the infections occurred.  

A more common form of avian flu, H5N1, has killed more than 360 people worldwide in the past decade.

You May Like

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

Analysts say move by President Xi is an effort to win more party support, take step toward economic reforms, removing those who would stand in way of change More

South Africa Land Reforms Still Contentious 20 Years Later

Activists argue that the pace of land reform is slow and biased; legal experts question how some proposed reforms would be implemented More

In Vietnam, Religious Freedoms Violated, UN Finds

Beliefs reportedly prompt heavy surveillance, intimidation and travel restrictions More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid