China Reports Third Bird Flu Victim of the Month

by VR Sreeraman on  January 20, 2009 at 12:30 PM Bird Flu News   - G J E 4
A 16-year-old boy died from bird flu in central China on Tuesday, state media said, the nation's third fatality from the disease in less than a month.
 China Reports Third Bird Flu Victim of the Month
China Reports Third Bird Flu Victim of the Month

The boy, surnamed Wu, died in Huaihua city in Hunan province on Tuesday morning, the official Xinhua news agency quoted provincial health authorities as saying.

Wu fell ill in the neighbouring province of Guizhou on January 8, according to a statement issued by the Health Ministry on Monday that outlined his then critical condition.

He was then transferred to Huaihua on January 16 when his condition worsened, and tests conducted the next day concluded he had the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu.

The ministry said Monday that Wu had come into contact with dead poultry before falling ill. Local authorities in Hunan were not immediately available to comment on Tuesday.

Wu is the third person to have died from bird flu in China in less than a month, bringing the total number of reported deaths in the country since 2003 to 23.

A teenager died from the disease in Beijing on January 5, and a 27-year-old woman passed away on Saturday in the eastern province of Shandong.

A two-year-old girl is also critically ill from the H5N1 strain of avian influenza in the northern province of Shanxi.

Bird flu outbreaks tend to happen in winter, when low temperatures create more favourable conditions for the virus to spread.

Chinese authorities have also warned of a higher danger ahead of and during next week's Lunar New Year festivities, when many people gather for family reunions and eat poultry.

Source: AFP

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