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China reports latest bird flu death

Plucked dead pigeons hang at a pigeon farm in Dezhou, Shandong province April 9, 2013. REUTERS/Stringer
Plucked dead pigeons hang at a pigeon farm in Dezhou, Shandong province April 9, 2013. REUTERS/Stringer

BEIJING (Reuters) - A man in Shanghai died from bird flu on Monday, the latest person to die from the H7N9 strain of the virus first discovered in humans in March that has now killed at least 24 people.

The 89-year-old died after 12 days of medical treatment, state news agency Xinhua said, citing Shanghai health authorities.

Cases of the virus, confirmed in well over 100 people, have spread to several new provinces in recent days, including Fujian and Hunan.

Last week a man in Taiwan became the first case of the flu outside mainland China. He caught the flu while travelling in China.

The World Health Organization has called the virus "one of the most lethal", and said it is more easily transmitted than an earlier strain that has killed hundreds around the world since 2003.

Chinese scientists have confirmed that the bird flu strain has been transmitted to humans from chickens, but officials say there is as yet no evidence of human-to-human transmission of this virus.

(Reporting by Michael Martina; Editing by Alison Williams)

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