BEIJING, April 8 (Xinhua) -- No epidemic link indicating a human-to-human transmission has been detected so far among the H7N9 infections in China, an official of the country's health authority said.
The authorities have monitored 621 close contacts of the infected patients and to date there is no abnormality among them, said Liang Wannian, director of the H7N9 influenza prevention and control office under the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC), at a press conference held by the commission on Monday.
However, the official noted that agricultural authorities have detected the H7N9 virus in samples from chickens, pigeons and environmental specimens.
The commission is working with the agricultural authorities in stepping up the monitoring of the disease spreading among animals, Liang said, adding that it is also collecting information about the disease from various channels.
Moreover, the commission is tracing the sources of the human infections and will closely follow up with possible mutations of the virus, Liang said.p The commission has also organized expert discussions about the disease spreading and its possible risk for public health, he said.
As of midnight, the NHFPC has received 21 reports of human infection of the H7N9 avian influenza virus.
According to Liang, ten of the reported cases were found in Shanghai, six in Jiangsu Province, two in Anhui Province and three in Zhejiang Province, Liang said, adding that four patients in Shanghai and two in Zhejiang died of the disease.
The commission has sent expert teams to relevant regions and started the training for medical staff about the diagnosis and treatment of the disease, he said.
The official pledged disclosure of relevant information in a timely manner, and said citizens can be briefed about disease prevention and control tips via a health hotline "12320."
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