China has reported at least seven cases of bird flu across China this month, including two deaths, as authorities sought to guard against an outbreak.

State media reported five cases of H7N9 bird flu have been diagnosed in central Anhui province since Dec. 8, killing two.

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Shanghai officials said this week that a man was diagnosed with H7N9 and is being treated in a city hospital. Another case has been reported in Xiamen in coastal Fujian province, where poultry sales have been halted.

A major H7N9 bird flu outbreak in humans first struck China in March 2013, killing more than 40 people and devastating the poultry industry. The strain is less virulent than the H5N1 strain that the World Health Organization says has killed more than 370 people.