Chinese men die of 'never-before-found' strain of bird flu

London, Apr 1 (ANI): Two men in the Chinese city of Shanghai have died after contracting a strain of avian flu that has never been previously found in humans.

The men, aged 27 and 87, both fell ill with the H7N9 strain in February and died some weeks later in March.

According to China's Xinhua News agency, a woman of 35 who caught the virus elsewhere is said to be critically ill.

China's National Health and Family Planning Commission said that all three became ill with coughs and fevers before developing pneumonia.

Commission experts said the cause had been identified as H7N9, a strain of avian flu not thought to have been transmitted to humans before, the BBC reports.

There is no vaccine against the strain, the commission said, and added that it was currently testing to assess its ability to infect humans.

Another strain of bird flu, H5N1, has led to more than 360 confirmed human deaths since 2003 and the deaths of tens of millions of birds. (ANI)