Beijing: A day after Shanghai closed a live poultry trading zone and ordered culling of thousands of birds, China's Hangzhou city on Saturday followed suit after the deadly H7N9 bird flu virus was detected from quails sold in its farm produce market.
    
Six persons have so far died in the country due to the avian influenza and a total of 16 cases have been confirmed in the first known human infection of the lesser-known strain. The second confirmed H7N9 case in east China's Zhejiang Province has been found to have eaten quails bought from the Binsheng Agricultural and Sideline Products Market in Shangcheng District, Hangzhou city.
    
The disease control and prevention centre of Hangzhou detected H7N9 bird flu virus from the quails in the market on Friday. The virus sample has been sent to national disease control and prevention center for recheck.
    
Culling of live poultry in the Hangzhou market began early on Saturday, state-run Xinhua news agency reported. Shanghai on Friday announced closing down its live poultry markets beginning on Saturday and banned all live poultry from other parts of the country from entering the city.
    
The 16 cases of the deadly flu have been reported from Shanghai (6), Jiangsu (6), Zhejiang (3) and Anhui (1). The six deaths due to H7N9 infections have been reported from Shanghai and Zhejiang.

All 16 patients confirmed to have contracted H7N9 virus were isolated and there has been no sign of human-to-human transmission, according to an official statement here on Saturday.
    
Sixteen people had been confirmed as being infected by H7N9 bird flu, six of whom have died. The statement said no epidemiological link between those cases has been identified to date. All close contacts have been placed under medical observation and only one of them has shown symptoms, though bird flu infection has already been ruled out as the cause of this person's illness, it said.

(Agencies)

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