Nightly News   |  April 06, 2013

New strain of bird flu is deadly

The outbreak of a new strain of bird flu has now infected at least 18 people, and killed six in China. NBC’s Robert Bazell reports.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> and this country is keeping a close eye on a different kind of threat tonight, the outbreak of a new kind of bird flu that has infected at least 18 people and killed 6 in china. nbc correspondent robert bizell with that story tonight.

>> reporter: in shanghai, the chinese slaughtered 20,000 chickens to lessen the strain of bird flu that seems to be infecting people. it's over a wide range of china so it seems many birds are affected. the big fear is the virus could spread among people, like the one in 2009 , which killed many people. so far the tests are reassuring. results show almost no person to person transition. other good news. the chinese government has been quickly sharing information with the world. that's a far cry from ten years ago when it tried to hide an outbreak of a different virus called sars that spread around the world, sickening 8,000 and killing 800 before it died out.

>> china has really provided for a model response. it been timing, it's been comprehensive.

>> reporter: several people are checking travelers for illness, having masks in place, and restricting use of chinese poultry. the united states and other country are taking the first step to develop a vaccine. health officials say as long as new infections appear, the chance of a more dangerous mutation persists. they are watching closely and hoping that doesn't happen. robert frizell, nbc news, new york.