The number of deaths in China due to the H7N9 bird flu epidemic have been increasing recently, with an outbreak killing 79 people this past January — the most deaths that occurred in a single month since November 2013.
From 16 different regions, 250 cases of the deadly flu had been reported to the National Health and Family Planning Commission, and state media claims that most of these illnesses were found along the eastern and southern coast of China.
An outbreak of the virus in 2013 caused the death of more than 40 people (and the crushing downfall of the poultry industry). With an additional six deaths happening already in February, the epidemic is continuously raising public health issues amongst communities.
This led to the temporary shutdown of some poultry markets ordered by local authorities so that testing could take place. Recently, 30 percent of Guangzhou's live poultry markets were found to be infected by H7N9.
H7N9, which is transmitted through contaminated poultry meat rather than between humans, supposedly isn't as deadly as H5N1, aka avian influenza, which the World Health Organization (WHO) says has killed hundreds all across the globe in the past ten years.
Chinese New Year is a huge season in which the movement of poultry, from slaughtering to trading, could possibly expose humans to more diseases.
[Image via ibtimes]