7 Apr 2013

New drug approved in China against bird flu

4:16 pm on 7 April 2013

China has fast-tracked the approval of a new drug in an attempt to contain an outbreak of a new strain of bird flu known as H7N9.

The number of cases has risen to 18, most of them along the Yangtze delta region.

Six people have died from the virus - four in Shanghai and another two in the neighbouring province of Zhejiang.

The State Food and Drug Administration has approved a drug called Peramivir to treat the infection.

Meanwhile, the ABC reports three cities have banned live poultry in an attempt to stop the virus spreading further.

More than 20,000 chickens and quail were culled at a market in Shanghai.

Nanjing has also shut markets selling live poultry.