Beijing: Two more persons have been diagnosed with the deadly bird flu in south China's Guangdong province, taking the number of people infected with H7N9-strain in the area to 23 this year.
A 75-year-old woman from Shenzhen City and a 62-year-old woman from Meizhou City were confirmed infected with the flu on Monday, the provincial health and family planning commission said in a statement today.
Both the elderly women are in critical condition at local hospitals, they said.
Health experts have warned that Guangdong, which borders Hong Kong, has entered the high-incidence period for bird flu, which usually crops up in winter and spring seasons.
A series of human infection reports have led to the culling of thousands of chickens in Guangdong and Hong Kong this year. Most bird flu cases in humans come from exposure to infected poultry, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
Several cities in Guangdong have also taken measures to restrict live poultry trade to curb the spread of the disease, raising concerns about the impact on the industry.
Other provinces like Shanghai, Fujian, Jiangxi and Zhejiang in east China have all reported cases of H7N9 this winter.
According to official figures, there have been more than 450 cases of H7N9 in China since March 2013.