The World Health Organization has published news on a spike of cases just this week in China of the deadly flu strain H7N9.
23 cases have been confirmed in laboratory tests of H7N9. These cases, together with a similar number the week before signified a discreet spike in infections for the dangerous pathogen.
The patients now in the hospital range in age from a child to elderly people. Some of the published cases are of patients who have succumbed to the disease.
Unfortunately, many of the patients arrive at the hospital for treatment when already critically ill, which makes their treatment much more difficult.
Some of the people reportedly ill had clear contact with poultry in recent times, but some of them are relatives of people already infected, raising suspicions that the virus has acquired the ability to pass from human to human.
The WHO however, asserts that there is no indication that the virus has the ability to pass easily from person to person, what is medically known as 'sustained' ability for transmission.
Although this is the height of the flu season, the H7N9 strain is being closely watched because it is an avian strain, and because of its high mortality rate so far.
Special protocols have been adopted for the monitoring of the virus to ascertain if it has acquired higher virality.
Partial Source : WHO/ 1.20.14