HANGZHOU, April 4 (Xinhua) -- Another H7N9 bird flu case has been confirmed in east China's Zhejiang Province, the provincial health department said Thursday, bringing the country's total number of cases to 10.
The patient is a 64-year-old man from Huzhou City. He became ill on March 29 and was admitted to a hospital in Huzhou on March 31.
On Thursday, medical experts confirmed that he was infected with the H7N9 bird flu strain after the provincial center for disease control and prevention said late Wednesday that he tested positive for the virus.
An investigation has found that all 55 people who had close contact with the man have not exhibited any abnormal clinical symptoms, the department said.
The Zhejiang provincial government has demanded that medical staff take all measures to treat H7N9 patients.
So far, China has confirmed 10 H7N9 cases -- four in Jiangsu Province, two in Shanghai Municipality, one in Anhui Province and three in Zhejiang. The two patients in Shanghai and one in Zhejiang have died.
Health authorities and hospitals in many Chinese provinces have been on high alert for H7N9 cases.
In Nanchang, capital of Jiangxi Province, which neighbors Zhejiang, five hospitals have been selected and ordered to be ready to treat H7N9 patients, though no cases have been reported there.
South China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region has ordered an inventory on medical supplies and respirator deployment for potential H7N9 cases.
The regional health department also demanded that one hospital be designated to receive H7N9 patients and that teams of experts be set up at the city and county levels, in addition to three regional hospitals that have already been arranged.
China's health authorities have promised transparency and cooperation to the World Health Organization (WHO) in regards to human infections of the new strain of bird flu.
On Wednesday afternoon, the National Health and Family Planning Commission briefed officials from the WHO China office on the latest developments in H7N9 avian influenza infections and the country's countermeasures.
The commission distributed prevention and control plans and technique directives to health institutions nationwide. The directives require areas affected by the new strain of bird flu should prepare daily updates on the local epidemic situation.
"So far, the sources of infection have not been clear, but based on past experiences and recent epidemiological studies, the sources could be poultry or the secretion and excrement from poultry," according to the plan.
The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday that no human-to-human transmission of H7N9 has been discovered and no epidemiological connection between these cases has been found.