TAIYUAN -- A toddler who was in a critical condition for more than a week in Shanxi province after contracting bird flu is out of danger, health authorities said on Friday.
Doctors are now optimistic that 2-year-old Peng will be the first, and only, survivor among four people to have contracted the deadly H5N1 virus in China this year.
Since China's first human bird flu case was reported in 2003, just 11 of the 34 infected people survived.
Shu Yuelong, a bird flu researcher with the China Center for Disease Control, said on Wednesday that the fatality rate among bird flu patients is generally over 60 percent.
Peng is currently recovering in an isolation ward at the Taiyuan No 4 Hospital in the capital of Shanxi, doctors said on Friday.
The little girl fell ill on Jan 7 in Changsha, Hunan. Four days later she was taken to Shanxi by her grandparents and on Jan 17 was confirmed as having contracted bird flu.
Three people have died of bird flu in China this year: a 19-year-old Beijing woman on Jan 5, a 27-year-old woman from Shandong on Jan 17, and a 16-year-old boy from Hunan on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, on Monday, a 17-month-old boy from Anhui province died of hand-foot-mouth disease, health officials said on Friday.
The child, surnamed Hou, became sick on Sunday, they said.
Fifteen cases of the disease have been reported in the province this month.
Last year, the disease claimed dozens of lives across the country, and more than 24,000 people were infected.