China bird flu deaths hit 79, most since at least 2013

An outbreak of H7N9 bird flu in China killed 79 people in January, the most in a single month in at least three years, the country’s national health authority said. More than 250 cases of H7N9 have been reported to the National Health and Family Planning Commission from 16 provinces and regions. State media said Thursday that most of the illnesses

occurred in and around China’s eastern and southern coast, from Shanghai to Hong Kong. At least six more deaths have been reported thus far in February, raising concerns China faces a public health crisis more severe than the 2013 outbreak that killed at least 40 people and devastated the poultry industry. January’s death toll was the highest for any month since at least November 2013, according to the health commission’s website. READ MORE

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