BEIJING, Feb. 3 (UPI) -- Chinese health officials say H7N9 avian flu killed two more people, raising the number of human deaths from the disease to 25 so far this year.
The number of humans infected by H7N9 also has risen to 113 so far this year, officials said. Zhejiang and Guangdong are two of the worst affected provinces.
A 59-year-old man who had close contact with live poultry died Monday in central China's Hunan province, the first such in the province, Xinhua News Agency reported, quoting local officials.
The second death was that of a man who died last Sunday in Foshan city in Guangdong province.
China has been battling rising numbers of human cases of H7N9 infections almost on a daily basis, Xinhua said.
Health officials in the affected regions have gone on higher alert to fight the spread of the disease. Authorities have banned live fowl trading in some of the affected areas.
China's National Health and Family Planning Commission has said while H7N9 cases will continue in some of the cities, a large-scale H7N9 epidemic, however, is unlikely during the current Spring Festival holiday as no H7N9 virus mutation that could affect public health has been identified.