WHO says bird flu not spreading between people in China

Updated: Apr 08, 2013, 14:13 PM IST

Sydney: The World Health Organisation has said that there is no proof that the H7N9 bird flu virus is being transmitted between people in China.

China said over a week ago that the virus had been found in humans for the first time.

Michael O`Leary, the WHO`s representative in China, told a news conference in Beijing that although they do not know the source of infection, at this time there is no evidence of sustained human-to-human transmission, the Herald Sun reports.

Concerns over human transmission arose after the two sons of an elderly man in Shanghai, one of the earliest deaths from H7N9, developed respiratory illness, one of them dying, but the virus was later ruled out by Chinese authorities.

According to the report, O`Leary praised China`s transparency on the outbreak, following criticism the announcement of the initial deaths was too slow.

China faced condemnation a decade ago on accusations it covered up the 2003 outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which eventually killed about 800 people globally.