Scientists monitoring H7N9 'bird flu' virus

Scientists are watching the H7N9 virus closely to see if it could spark a global pandemic but say there is little evidence so far that it can spread easily from human to human.

In comparison, the earlier bird flu strain, H5N1, is known to kill up to 60 of every 100 people it infects.

An employee wearing a protection suit sprays disinfectant on chickens at a poultry market in Hefei, Anhui province. Credit: REUTERS/Stringer

Experts said they still are not sure how people are getting infected but said evidence points to infections at live poultry markets, particularly through ducks and chickens.

However they added that it was encouraging that reported infections appeared to slow after the closure of live poultry markets in affected areas.