2 more new bird flu cases reported in Shanghai as China cracks down on poultry

Beijing: Two more people have contracted bird flu in Shanghai, China`s health ministry has said.

Authorities in China have closed live poultry markets and culled birds to combat a new virus strain that has killed six people.

State-run Xinhua news agency said authorities planned to slaughter birds at two live poultry markets in Shanghai and another in Hangzhou after new samples of the H7N9 virus were detected in birds at the three sites.

According to news24, more than 20 000 birds have been culled at another Shanghai market where traces of the virus were found this week.

Officials in Shanghai have closed all the city`s live poultry markets on Saturday, emptying food stalls.

According to the report, the new strain of bird flu has infected 18 people in China, all in the east.

Six people have died in an outbreak that has spread concern overseas and sparked a sell-off in airline shares in Europe and Hong Kong.

China`s Food and Drug Administration said it had fast-tracked approval for intravenous anti-influenza drug Peramivir to fight the disease, the report added.