CHINA / National

China confirms 12th human bird flu death
Updated: 2006-04-20 23:18

A 21-year-old man in China's central province of Hubei died on Wednesday of H5N1 bird flu, the Xinhua news agency reported on Thursday, quoting local health authorities.

Xinhua identified the victim as a migrant worker surnamed Lai who worked as a security guard in the provincial capital Wuhan. He returned home last month to attend a funeral and developed symptoms of pneumonia on April 1, it said.

Lai was the 12th Chinese to die from the virus since the first death in November of last year.

China has recorded 17 cases of human bird flu infections.

Epidemiologists fear that bird flu could mutate to a form where it could pass easily among humans, potentially triggering a pandemic in which millions could die.