The story of the first death from China’s new bird flu, dubbed H7N9, was broken by an employee at China’s Hospital No. 5, in Shanghai, over China’s twitter-like social network Weibo.
The employee seemed to be upset because they were not provided with personal protective equipment, like masks, to ensure they did not catch the mystery disease.
And on March 6, someone posted on Weibo, “Ask the hospital to tell the truth.” The anonymous posting went on to detail that a Shanghai family shared a terrible flu, and a 27-year-old man with similar symptoms had recently checked in. The Weibo user appeared to be a Hospital No. 5 employee, as he or she noted the lack of protective gear for doctors and nurses and expressed personal fear.
The stories of the Li family, those initially infected in Shanghai, and a young butcher who was also infected, spread among the social networking site and over blogs, when people learned that the families of the victims were being charged for the treatments.
Since these first cases, more than 108 people have fallen ill, and 22 have died of the new virus.
Read the entire feature over at Foreign Policy for everything you need to know about H7N9 and how it’s like, and inline the SARS and H5N1 bird flu epidemics.
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