Beijing: A bunch of dead sparrows created a scare in China`s bird flu-hit Nanjing city, prompting local officials to test them for the H7N9 virus.
Ten dead sparrows that were discovered in Nanjing were not infected with the deadly H7N9 bird flu strain, local authorities confirmed today after tests scorching rumours.
The birds, which were discovered in a residential compound in the city`s Jianye District, all tested negative for the H7N9 virus, local Animal Health Inspection Centre said.
The cause of the sparrows` deaths is not yet known, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
A netizen from Nanjing posted a photo of the dead sparrows online on Friday evening.
The post was widely forwarded and stirred concerns regarding the possible appearance of the virus in Nanjing, where the sale of poultry was banned after few cases were reported.
Eighteen H7N9 cases had been confirmed in China as of yesterday, with eight in Shanghai, six in Jiangsu Province, three in Zhejiang Province and one in Anhui Province.
Four of the Shanghai cases and two of the Zhejiang cases have resulted in deaths.
The cases mark the first known human infections of the H7N9 strain.
The Nanjing municipal government ordered the suspension of all live poultry trade and the immediate closing of poultry markets yesterday.
The city`s 11 administrative districts have been required to report relevant information daily.