"Just since November of last year, nearly 40 countries have reported
fresh outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza in poultry or
wild birds. The rapidly expanding geographical distribution of these
outbreaks and the number of virus strains currently co-circulating
have put WHO on high alert," Dr. Margaret Chan told the U.N.
agency's executive board in Geneva.
In China, there has been a "sudden and steep increase" in human
cases of H7N9 since December and the WHO has not been able to rule
out limited human-to-human spread in two clusters of cases although
no sustained spread has been detected thus far, she said.
(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Dominic Evans)
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