Two persons died of the H7N9 bird flu virus in China this week (Tuesday). This brings the death toll for Year 2014 to 25.
The state-run news agency Xinhua reported that a 59-year-old man died in the town of Louding after coming into contact with live poultry.
It was the first fatality from the disease in the south-eastern province of Hunan. Earlier in the week, a woman died in Foshan, in the central province of Guangdong.
However, a total of 113 cases have been reported across China this year.
The H7N9 bird flu virus is more virulent than the H5N1.
The H7N9 bird flu virus emerged 2013 in China. It infected around 150 people in Taiwan and Hong Kong, killing at least 45 of them.
Experts say there is no evidence as yet of any easy or sustained person to person transmission of the strain. However, an early scientific analysis of probable transmission of the new flu from person to person, published in August 2013, gave the strongest proof that it can at times jump between people and so could cause a human pandemic. The World Health Organization (WHO) said that the source of the human infections was still being investigated.
Chinese authorities have advised people to contact hospitals if they develop a fever after contact with live poultry, but experts say transmission of the disease between humans remains unlikely.
In a related incident, the first death in North America from H5N1 bird flu has been reported in Alberta, Canada. The victim, a lady in her 20s and a nurse, was a resident of Alberta who recently travelled to Beijing, China. Health officials said there was no risk of human to human transmission of the virus.
Back home in Nigeria, all Poultry farms must have full bio-security measures in place. Contact with Poultry should remain limited. For example, some vendors sell chicken and guinea fowl atop our bridges in Lagos to unsuspecting and innocent buyers. The Lagos state Ministry of Health and Agriculture should send out warnings to people to desist from buying live chickens anyhow and anywhere for their own safety.