China is reporting a sudden surge of patients infected with H7N9 bird flu, just days ahead of the start of the Chinese New Year holiday, raising concerns among infectious diseases experts that the holiday may provide the perfect opportunity for the emerging flu strain to spread even further.
Authorities in eastern China announced a ban Tuesday on live poultry sales following a spike in the number of people infected with the H7N9 strain of bird flu, with the busy Chinese New Year travel period already under way.
A spate of bird flu cases since the beginning of the year in China has experts watching closely as millions of people and poultry are on the move ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday, the world's largest annual human migration.
A 6-year-old girl has become the ninth person in Cambodia to die of bird flu this year. Cambodia's health ministry said Tuesday there have been 13 confirmed cases of H5N1 avian influenza in the country this year, and 34 since 2005.