BEIJING – Authorities in eastern China have banned live poultry sales after an increase in the number of people infected with the H7N9 strain of bird flu, state media reported Tuesday, with the busy Chinese New Year travel period already underway.
So far this year, H7N9 has killed 19 people in China and infected 96, the official Xinhua News Agency said, citing the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
The virus is believed to pass to humans through direct contact with infected birds.
The jump in cases comes during the 40-day travel period around Chinese New Year, during which Chinese are expected to make 3.6 billion trips as families reunite. Chinese New Year is Friday.