Beijing (dpa) - China's health ministry confirmed for the first time Wednesday that three people were sick with bird flu in the country, the official Xinhua news agency reported.
The H5N1 virus was detected in two patients in the central province of Hunan and one sick person in the eastern province of Anhui, the ministry said.
All three were believed to have caught the virus through contact with sick birds.
The World Health Organization (WHO) had earlier confirmed in Beijing that blood taken from a sick nine-year-old boy contained bird-flu antibodies, a "clear sign" of an infection with the deadly H5N1 strain of the virus.
If China is confirming three cases, it is very safe to assume there are a number more out there. If this mutates to a virus that transmit easily human to human we are in deep trouble.