China is considered one of the nations most at risk from bird flu because it has the world's biggest poultry population
China is considered one of the nations most at risk from bird flu because it has the world's biggest poultry populationReuters

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has confirmed that four more people have died from H7N9 virus, the new strain of bird flu in China. According to a written statement issued by WHO, the death toll has rose to 36 from a total number of 131 confirmed cases in the country.

However, the United Nations health agency assured that no new cases have been confirmed of infection due to H7N9 since 8 May. All the reported deaths happened among the patients in whom the virus infection was detected by the laboratories prior to 8 May.The new strain of bird flu was first detected in patients in China in March.

The World Health Organisation underscored that there was no evidence to believe that the new strain of bird flu was easily spreading from human to human, in which case the new flu could have easily transformed into an epidemic.

However, the health agency cautioned that unless the source of infection has been identified and controlled, there could be further instances of human infection with the virus. The Chinese health authorities is continuing with enhanced surveillance, epidemiological investigations, close contact tracing, clinical management, laboratory testing and sample sharing along with prevention and control measures.

Meanwhile, the dwindling of number of new cases in some province seems to have eased the Chinese citizens a bit. This is attributed mostly to the shutting down of live poultry markets across the country which could have slowed down the flu's outbreak along with warmer temperature.

Many provinces have lifted their emergency alert too, including Zhejiang and Shanghai provinces. The Zhejiang province, where nearly 46 cases of bird flu was reported, had slaughtered thousands of birds and livestock, asked residents to take preventive measures, including keeping distance from live poultry, wash their hands often and take traditional Chinese medicine. Last week, Shanghai province called off its emergency alert.

 Meanwhile, the poultry prices in the country have also bounced back according to the People's Daily Online, following government issuing subsidies to aid the industry ailing from the H7N9 alert.