The Health and Family Planning Commission of Guangdong Province has reported two additional human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) involving a 56-year-old man who lives in Shantou and a 39-year-old woman who lives in Zhongshan.

Influenza A (H7N9) virus/CDC
Influenza A (H7N9) virus/CDC

This brings the number of H7N9 avian flu cases to 194 in the province and 712 cumulative cases on the Mainland.

In addition, 21 cases imported from China have been reported in Canada (2), Hong Kong (14), Malaysia (1) and Taiwan (4).

Avian influenza (AI) is caused by those influenza viruses that mainly affect birds and poultry, such as chickens or ducks. These AI viruses are distinct from human seasonal influenza viruses. Since the AI viruses does not commonly infect human, there is little or no immune protection against them in the human population. People mainly become infected with AI through direct contact with infected birds and poultry (live or dead), their droppings or contaminated environments.