Beijing: The H7N9 avian influenza, which was first reported in humans in China this year causing 37 deaths, has a lower fatality risk than H5N1-type bird flu that emerged in 2003, researchers said on Monday.

A study by researchers from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Beijing and the University of Hong Kong found that the H7N9 proved fatal in 36 percent of hospitalized patients in China.

The study published in a local medical journal estimated the fatality risk for a symptomatic case of H7N9 flu could be 0.16 percent to 2.8 percent.

That meant the influenza was much less deadly than the H5N1 that has killed 375 of the 630 infected people around the world in the past decade.

"Human infections with avian influenza A H7N9 virus seem to be less serious than has been previously reported," the study said.

However, they added continued vigilance and sustained intensive control efforts are needed to minimize the risks of human infection.


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