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Chinese disease control experts said that the public should stay on alert for H7N9 avian flu, which has caused at least seven deaths this year.

H7N9 has entered its peak season and direct contact with live poultry remains the main source of infection, said a statement by Zhejiang provincial disease control and prevention center Tuesday.

Genetic analysis showed that there had been no mutations of the virus, but since late Autumn last year the epidemic had been reported in a wide range of areas, it said.

The virus was more active in 2016 than in the same seasons in previous years. A total of 44 cases were reported last year in Zhejiang, causing two deaths.

H7N9 is a bird flu strain first reported to have infected humans in March 2013 in China. It is most likely to strike in winter and spring.

At least seven people died from the virus since the start of this year, according to disease control centers in Guangdong and Hunan provinces.

Recently, human infections of H7N9 have been reported in several areas across China, including Guangdong, Guizhou, Hubei, Henan, Jiangxi, Hunan, Shandong, as well as in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Macao. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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