Via Xinhua: China provinces report five new H7N9 cases. In a perverse way, that's good news. The report and then a comment:
The Chinese provinces of Fujian, Guangdong and Zhejiang on Friday reported a total of five new human cases of H7N9 bird flu, including one death.
The five new cases included two in Zhejiang, two in Guangdong and one in Fujian, according to the health and family planning commissions in the three provinces.
The patient who died in Fujian was confirmed early Friday morning to have been infected with the virus, and died in the hospital the same morning.
The two cases in Zhejiang, a 79-year-old woman and a 30-year-old man, were both in critical condition.
Two mild cases, a 42-year-old woman and a 59-year-old woman, were also reported on Friday in Guangdong, where a total of 12 cases have been confirmed since last August.
Human cases of the bird flu virus have also been reported in the provinces of Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Guangdong so far this year.
The good news is that these cases are scattered. If we'd seen a family cluster, or worse yet an outbreak in a single hospital or neighbourhood, that might suggest H7N9 had mutated into a form easily transmissible between people. So far, the people who've contracted it are the dubious winners of a lottery where the odds are literally millions to one.