Human-to-human transmission of the H7N9 bird flu virus might occur on a limited scale in China, says a World Health Organization representative.
Bernhard Schwartlander said that there is no proof that the virus is going to become sustained or widespread among humans, and that it is not known whether H7N9 will cause a pandemic, China Daily reported.
Schwartlander referred to a case that involved a 30-year-old man and his father-in-law in Zhejiang province.
According to the local health authority, the possibility of limited human-to-human transmission cannot be ruled out in the case, which was reported in December.
He added that sustained human-to-human transmission is needed for a pandemic, but so far there was no proof of sustained or widespread human-to-human transmission of the virus that is capable of infecting both birds and humans.