China announced the spread of H5N1 avian flu to an eight-year-old girl on
Thursday, its second human case this month coming a day after a top WHO official
warned the world not to tire of fighting the virus.
Bird flu's spread has led to the death and culling of 200 million birds since
late 2003, with scientists fearing the avian disease could mutate to a form
easily passed among people.
Britain and Ivory Coast prepared to
start more poultry slaughtering after discovering viral outbreaks, although
Britain said the virus it had detected at a chicken farm was probably not the
H5N1 strain dangerous to humans.
A vender unloads a duck from a truck outside a
wholesale market in Nanjing, March 24, 2006. China announced on Thursday
that an eight-year-old girl had caught H5N1 bird flu.
China's Ministry of Health said an eight-year pupil in southwest
China's Sichuan Province was confirmed to be infected with H5N1 bird flu, and
was being treated in a local hospital.
The girl, surnamed Sun, from
Tangjia Township in Suining City of Sichuan Province, showed symptoms of fever
and pneumonia on April 16. She is being treated in a local hospital, according
to the ministry.
Investigators report that poultry deaths occurred in the patient's house
before she caught the deadly disease.
Samples of the girl's lower respiratory tract tested positive for the H5
avian flu sub-type by the Sichuan provincial center for disease control and
prevention (CDC). China's national CDC confirmed the test result to be H5N1
strain of bird flu on Thursday.
The patient has been confirmed to be infected with bird flu in accordance
with the standards of the World Health Organization (WHO) and Chinese official
standards, said the ministry.
Governments and health departments at all levels in Sichuan Province have
taken immediate prevention and control measures after the human bird flu case
People who were in close contact with the patient have been put under medical
observation by local health authorities. So far none has shown any abnormal
The ministry has reported the new case to the WHO and the regions of Hong
Kong, Macao and Taiwan, as well as several countries.
news, the World Health Organization said in a statement the girl's diagnosis
brought China's laboratory-confirmed cases to 18, 12 of which had been fatal.
"She developed symptoms of fever and pneumonia on April 16. She remains
hospitalized," the WHO said.
Just over a week ago on April 18, China's Health Ministry announced the
country's 17th confirmed human H5N1 case, that of a migrant worker who died a