Shanghai and Hong Kong confirmed a new human case of infection by the H7N9 strain of avian influenza each on Friday.
Hong Kong confirmed its second case this season days after an elderly man died of the virus while Shanghai’s health authority that a man diagnosed with the flu strain is being treated in a hospital, the state-owned news agency Xinhua reported.
A 70-year-old man, who had travelled to the neighbouring Chinese cities of Shenzhen and Zhongshan earlier in December, tested positive for the H7N9 strain of the virus, the Hong Kong government said in a statement.
It said that the man had come across mobile stalls selling live poultry in Zhongshan, but authorities said they were still investigating the source of the infection.
The patient has been hospitalised in stable condition. Those who have been in close contact with him have been put under medical surveillance although none have yet reported any symptoms.
Cases of bird flu were “expected to increase in winter based on its seasonal pattern”, the government statement added.
Another elderly man, who had bought a chicken from a market in the neighbouring Guangdong province, died on Sunday, less than a week after testing positive for H7N9.
Shanghai, China’s largest city with more than 24 million residents, has also already reported one human case of H7N9 infection this month.