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Bird Flu Spreads to Beijing

It was expected to, says WHO chief; still no human-to-human transmissions
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 14, 2013 6:31 AM CDT
Bird Flu Spreads to Beijing
A nurse works at a specialized fever clinic inside the Ditan Hospital, where a Chinese girl is being treated for the H7N9 strain of bird flu, in Beijing Sunday, April 14, 2013.   (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

(Newser) – Beijing has reported its first case of the H7N9 bird flu, as two new cases in a neighboring province were confirmed today, marking the official spread of the virus from the country's east. But the development was anticipated, says the head of the WHO office in Beijing. "We've been expecting new cases to occur," Michael O'Leary tells the AP. "Furthermore, we still expect that there will be other cases."

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O'Leary says the outbreak continues to hold "good news:" "All the cases are individually infected in a sporadic and not connected way," he says, meaning humans are not passing the virus onto other humans. The Beijing victim is a 7-year-old girl whose parents trade in live poultry; she is in stable condition after being admitted to the hospital on Thursday. O'Leary emphasizes that her case shows the efficacy of early treatment. So far, 57 cases of H7N9 have been reported in China; 11 of those have resulted in fatalities. (Read more bird flu stories.)

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