SHANGHAI, April 8 (Xinhua) -- A 64-year-old man in Shanghai has become the seventh Chinese to die from H7N9 avian flu, local authorities reported on Monday, as the total number of infection cases in China climbed to 24.
The man, surnamed He, died in a local hospital at 6:45 p.m. on Sunday and was later confirmed as the city's latest H7N9 infection, said a statement from the Shanghai Municipal Health & Family Planning Commission.
The Shanghai case brought the country's total H7N9 avian influenza cases to 24, after two new cases were reported in east China's Jiangsu Province, also on Monday.
The two newly confirmed H7N9 patients in Jiangsu are an 85-year-old man surnamed Yu in the provincial capital of Nanjing and a 25-year-old woman surnamed Qiu in Zhenjiang City, the health department of Jiangsu reported.
Both patients are in critical condition, the department added.
Authorities in Shanghai and Jiangsu are monitoring those who have close contact with the patients, and have reported no signs of new infection.
An agricultural official in Shanghai said no H7N9 virus had been found so far among locally raised poultry, though the city has already banned all trade of live fowl.
Sun Lei, head of the Shanghai Agriculture Commission, said more than 111,000 birds had been culled and incinerated as of Sunday evening, but no H7N9 virus had been detected in local farms that raise poultry.
Sun said involved farmers would be offered subsidies that are no less than half of the market value of their poultry so as to stabilize the market and safeguard their interests.
As of 6 p.m. on Monday, China reported 24 cases of human infection with the lesser-known H7N9 bird flu virus, including 11 in Shanghai Municipality, eight in Jiangsu Province, three in Zhejiang Province and two in Anhui Province.
Among the seven fatalities, five were in Shanghai and two in Zhejiang.