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Woman dies from bird flu

By Luo Wangshu in Chongqing | China Daily | Updated: 2013-02-14 07:22

Other patient battles virus as checks carried out to tackle possible spread

One of two people confirmed by health authorities to have contracted avian influenza, or H5N1, died in Guizhou province on Wednesday morning.

The 21-year-old woman died of multiple organ failure at Guizhou Provincial People's Hospital.

The woman and the other patient, a 31-year-old male, are both residents of Guiyang. They developed symptoms on Feb 2 and 3. Both tested positive for the H5N1 virus on Sunday, according to the Ministry of Health.

Specialists have not found any indication that the patients had close contact with poultry, nor have they found any connection between the two cases.

People who have had close contact with the two patients have been put under medical observation. None have exhibited any symptoms.

The human-transmissible form of avian influenza, also known as bird flu, is an acute respiratory infectious disease mainly caused by the deadly H5N1 virus. Symptoms resemble those for other types of flu, including headaches, sore throats and upset stomachs.

Humans get bird flu from poultry. No cases of sustained human-to-human transmission have been reported. Avian flu is not transmitted through well-cooked food. Humans get it from slaughtering and butchering infected poultry and touching areas contaminated by the droppings or saliva of infected poultry.

Inspectors in neighboring Chongqing municipality launched a 24-hour monitoring service during the holiday.

"We are on duty 24 hours during the holiday to watch the situation," a member of staff from the animal epidemic prevention and control division of Chongqing Agriculture Bureau said.

At the Anwen exit of the Chongqing-Guiyang Expressway, which links Chongqing to the Guizhou provincial capital of Guiyang, inspector Wen Lifa told Chongqing Daily that he and his colleagues examine animal cargoes, or relevant products, every day during the Spring Festival holiday.

They check quarantine certificates. If the cargo contains living animals, they observe the behavior of the animals to guarantee keeping the virus out of Chongqing, the paper said.

Su Jiangyuan in Guiyang and Xinhua contributed to this story.

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