First published report of H7N9 spread within family

The index case was a 60-year- old man who regularly visited live poultry markets and died of multi-organ failure after becoming infected with the bird flu.

His daughter, aged 32, who had no exposure to poultry, provided his bedside care and became infected with an almost identical strain before also dying.

“Our findings reinforce that the novel virus possesses the potential for pandemic spread,” the researchers said.

BMJ 2013; online 6 August