“We do not yet know enough about these infections to determine whether there is a significant risk of community spread,” the UN’s health agency said in an online H7N9 update.
Experts are concerned that the virus appears to have spread across a wide geographical area, with people sickened not only in Shanghai, but also the nearby provinces of Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Anhui.
“I am cautiously worried,” virologist John Oxford said. “If there were four cases in Shanghai, I would be much less concerned, but because it is so geographically widespread I think it is trying to tell us something.”
State broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) reported yesterday that health ministry officials were meeting with agricultural personnel to draw up an action plan aimed at “preventing the spreading of the disease.”