China reports year’s second fatal case of bird flu
BEIJING – A man in southwestern China has died of bird flu, health authorities said Saturday, becoming the second fatality from the H5N1 virus this year.
The 31-year-old died in hospital in the city of Guiyang on Friday, the Guizhou province health department said in a statement, adding that no other human cases of avian flu had been reported in the province.
Another city resident, a 21-year-old woman, died from the virus earlier this month.
The Xinhua news agency said both of them had come into close contact with birds but it was not known if the cases were related.
The H5N1 virus typically spreads from birds to humans through direct contact, but experts fear it could mutate into a form transmissible between humans with the potential to trigger a pandemic.
More than 365 people have died of bird flu globally since the virus re-emerged in 2003, according to the World Health Organization.
Its figures show that China saw 25 deadly cases of the virus between 2003 and 2009 before numbers tailed off to one fatality in each of the three following years. The deadliest year of the past decade in China saw eight deaths in 2006.
China is considered one of the nations most at risk from bird flu epidemics because it has the world’s biggest poultry population and many chickens in rural areas are kept close to humans.
China has in the past been accused of covering up the extent of bird flu outbreaks, exacerbating fears when new cases are reported.
Separate outbreaks among birds were reported last year in the northern region of Ningxia and the remote northwestern region of Xinjiang, prompting massive culls of chickens.
Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:
Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94