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China combats new avian flu strain

OIE has issued an alert after China finds H7N9 avian flu in a pigeon. China has also reported that six people have died from the new strain, but no connection has been found.

The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) issued an alert April 5 after receiving information from China about the H7N9 low-pathogenic strain of avian flu infecting a pigeon.

Authorities in China have killed more than 20,000 birds from a live-poultry trading zone in Shanghai, China, after an unusual strain of avian influenza was found in pigeons, state-run media Xinhua reported.

OIE said, up to date, there is no evidence that the pigeon case is connected to several cases of H7N9 infecting people in China. Further investigations are on-going.

H7N9 has killed six people. It had not previously been found in people until 14 cases were reported in China this week — all in a coastal area of eastern China. No cases of human-to-human transmission have been confirmed so far.

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