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Fifth bird flu death reported in China, according to Chinese media

Bird flu toll in China rises to five out 14 confirmed cases, as health experts continue to classify confirmed cases of H7N9.

chinese man dies from bird fluEnlarge
A 39-year-old died from the bird flu in southern China. (PRAKASH MATHEMA/AFP/Getty Images)

China has confirmed the fifth death from bird flu out of fourteen confirmed cases, as neighboring nations crack down on their control of the poultry supply.

A middle-aged man who moved poultry for a living and another person were confirmed to have died of the new H7N9 bird flu strain, reported the Associated Press, although it remains unknown how exactly people are becoming sick.

Read more from GlobalPost: Two test positive for bird flu in China

The state media confirmed that four out of the five deaths have occurred in Shanghai, while the two most recent deaths took place on April 4th, quickly bringing up the total, according to Reuters.

The Shanghai health bureau told hospitals to step up their monitoring respiratory illnesses earlier in the week, and also noted that victims who died in March had already suffered from chronic health conditions.

"(China) will strengthen its leadership in combating the virus ... and coordinate and deploy the entire nation's health system to combat the virus," said the Chinese Health Ministry in a statement on its website, according to Reuters.

Neighboring nations were taking no chances, as Hanoi decided to ban Chinese poultry from Vietnam entirely, and has beefed up its control of the border, while Hong Kong has begun to carefully monitor flight passengers.

Chinese authorities have reiterated that no evidence exists yet of human to human transmission, a worrying possible development that could lead to a wider spread of bird flu.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/china/130404/fifth-bird-flu-death-reported-china-according-chines