In Brief

1st Case of New Bird Flu Reported in Beijing

chickens, bird flu
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

A new bird flu virus that has taken 11 lives and infected 37 other individuals in eastern China has now been confirmed in Beijing where a 7-year-old girl was diagnosed Saturday (April 13) with the flu called H7N9, according to the Associated Press.

"Health officials believe people are contracting the H7N9 virus through direct contact with infected fowl and say there is no evidence the virus is spreading easily among people," the AP reports. Indeed, the girl, who is reportedly recovering in a hospital, lives with parents in the live poultry trade.

Most strains of bird flu do not infect people, although the H5N1 flu strain has caused more than 600 human illnesses in 15 countries since 2003, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In fact, the H7N9, until the recent outbreak in eastern China, was not thought to cause illness in humans. [Read full AP article]

Jeanna Bryner
Live Science Editor-in-Chief

Jeanna served as editor-in-chief of Live Science. Previously, she was an assistant editor at Scholastic's Science World magazine. Jeanna has an English degree from Salisbury University, a master's degree in biogeochemistry and environmental sciences from the University of Maryland, and a graduate science journalism degree from New York University. She has worked as a biologist in Florida, where she monitored wetlands and did field surveys for endangered species. She also received an ocean sciences journalism fellowship from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.