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H7N9 Bird Flu: Could Animals Other than Birds Harbor the Virus?

Researchers have more questions than answers about the latest bird flu circulating in China, including whether birds are the only reservoir for the virus.

The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that 17 people in China have died of H7N9 infection, and there is no evidence of person-to-person transmission of the flu virus. However, while experts assume that those infected were exposed when they came in contact with sick birds, most likely poultry, Chinese health officials said that 40% of the 82 people who have fallen ill so far have not reported any contact with live poultry.

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