China detains 3 for spreading bird flu rumors

Posted: 04/10/13 at 4:15 am EDT

BEIJING (AP) -- Chinese state media say police in southwest China have detained three people for spreading false rumors online that a new strain of bird flu had spread to their province.

Xinhua News Agency says two people are being detained for five days for writing on their microblogs that the H7N9 virus had been detected in a live poultry market in Guizhou province. The report says their message was reposted many times, causing fear to local people.

Xinhua says a third person actively participated in spreading the rumor and is being detained for 10 days.

China has reported 28 cases of people having being infected with the virus, and nine of these have died. All cases have been reported in Shanghai and eastern provinces.

Citing health authorities, Xinhua says there has been no sign of human-to-human transmission. Health officials believe people are contracting the virus through direct contact with infected fowl.

Some cities have suspended sales of live poultry.

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