The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that a new strain of bird flu that has killed 22 people in China is “one of the most lethal” flu viruses so far, and that it is more easily transmittable from poultry to humans than an earlier strain that has killed hundreds around the world since 2003.
In Beijing and other cities people have begun wearing masks and hand-cleansers are appearing in public venues. Schools want parents to monitor their children for signs of sickness.
A international team of experts led by the WHO has conducted a five-day investigation in China but said they were no closer to determining whether the virus could become transmissible between people.
Meanwhile, the government in self-ruled Taiwan confirmed a H7N9 bird flu infection in a Taiwanese person who had been in China.