Beijing:  The deadly new bird flu, which has caused 11 deaths in China so far, spread to Beijing as the capital reported its first case on Saturday, increasing the total number of cases in the country to 44.
A seven-year-old child in Beijing was suspected to have been infected with H7N9 strain of bird flu, state-run Xinhua news agency quoted local health officials as saying. It needs to be confirmed by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The child is being treated at the Beijing Ditan Hospital, and is in stable condition, the Beijing Municipal Health Bureau said in a statement.
Two people, who had close contacts with the child, have not shown any flu symptoms, it said. This is the first time the new virus which confined to Shanghai and surrounding provinces spread to as far as Beijing. Last night, the toll due to the new deadly bird flu climbed to 11 with one more death. Five more new cases were reported last night. The total number of cases has gone up so far to 44. A 74-year-old man in Shanghai, who tested positive for the virus on April 6, died last night after treatment failed, official media reported.
Also Shanghai, the worst hit so far with 20 cases, reported two more on Saturday, while three such cases have been detected in Zhejiang Province. Shanghai health officials said both the patients, who were diagnosed, are receiving medical treatment. Sixteen people, who had close contacts with them, have not exhibited abnormal symptoms, according to the statement.
China reported the first case of the lesser-known strain on March 31. The country's health officials said they do not know exactly how the virus is spreading, but it is believed to be crossing to humans from birds. The farmers of the chicken and duck farms began culling the birds, specially new ones stating that they can not afford to take care of the new arrivals as sales have fallen completely causing serious losses.


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