Six deaths announced in the past six days from a new strain of bird flu in China has led authorities to kill all of the pigeons being sold for meat at a Shanghai market.
The virus, H7N9, has infected at least 14 people so far, most likely through direct contact with birds. No person-to-person transmission has been detected, but health officials and scientists are closely monitoring the virus for similarities to past outbreaks.
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This particular strain may be trickier to detect because it can infect birds without any noticeable effect on their health, The Associated Press reports.
"In the past usually you would see chickens dying before any infections occurred in humans, but this time we've seen that many species of poultry actually have no apparent problems, so that makes it difficult because you lose this natural warning sign," David Hui, an infectious diseases expert at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, told The Associated Press.
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