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Man detained for spreading H7N9 rumor online

Xinhua News Agency, February 14, 2014 Adjust font size:

A man from central China's Hubei Province has been detained by police after he allegedly spread rumors about H7N9 bird flu on the Internet, local authorities said on Wednesday.

The man, surnamed Zhou, from Zigui County allegedly posted rumors on Feb. 9 via Wechat, a popular mobile messaging application, and on the microblogging platform of Chinese Internet giant Tencent, according to the public security bureau of Yichang City, which governs Zigui.

Zhou was detained on Monday and will remain in detention for 7 days, according to the police.

"A doctor from Yichang People's Hospital died of H7N9 at 4:21 a.m. yesterday," read the post. "She is only 31. A baby is still in the mother's belly and doctors who participated in the emergency treatment have been quarantined."

"Multiple cases of human H7N9 infection were also found in other regions in the province," it said.

The post was spread widely among netizens and aroused panic among the public.

Hubei provincial health and family planning authorities denied the rumor on Monday, saying no cases of human H7N9 virus infections have been reported in the province.

So far, China has reported more than 120 human H7N9 cases this year, including at least 31 deaths.

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