Today, a 64-year-old man in Huzhou, in Zhejiang province, died of H7N9. Earlier in the day, Shanghai's government closed all poultry markets. Over 20,000 birds have been slaughtered. (China Realtime Report has a great roundup of photos illustrating the crackdown.) And airline shares are falling globally as investors fear people will be reluctant to travel to China.
A seven-year-old Hong Kong girl who visited Shanghai recently is now showing signs of having contracted the bird flu strain. She is undergoing tests in a Hong Kong hospital. Taiwan, however, seems so far to have staved off the virus, as its Center for Disease Control ruled eight patients who had recently been in China to be in the clear. However, Taiwan is banning those recently returned from the mainland from visiting chicken farms. The annual Tomb Sweeping Festival, which began on Thursday, typically sees increased travel back to the mainland to visit ancestral graves.
All of the other of the 14 reported cases have so far occurred in eastern China.
Some of the latest developments:
April 5, 7:13 a.m. ET: While a sixth avian flu death has just been reported in eastern China, today also saw the first suspected H7N9 cases observed outside mainland China.
April 4, 4:33 p.m. ET: Five people have now died from a rare form of avian flu that has infected nine others, sparked fears of a possible endemic in China, and alarmed public health experts. Authorities in Shanghai, site of all but one of the deaths, began a mass slaughtering (paywall) of poultry after officials said they found the virus, H7N9, in pigeons sold at a local market.