BEIJING, May 5 (Xinhua) -- Five samples taken from poultry and the environment in three east China provinces have tested positive for the H7N9 avian flu virus, the Ministry of Agriculture said on Sunday.
The virus, which has killed at least 27 people thus far, was detected in three samples of the environment taken from Shandong Province and two samples of chicken from Jiangxi and Guangdong provinces.
The Shandong samples were taken from poultry waste at a local market in the city of Zaozhuang. The chicken samples were taken from a vendor in Jiangxi's Nanchang County and a wholesale market in Guangdong's city of Dongguan.
The virus strain detected in the samples is similar to that found in a sample of pigeon collected from a Shanghai marketplace that tested positive for the virus on April 4.
The ministry has ordered the three provinces to properly dispose of the samples and increase monitoring and prevention work.