China confirms another human bird flu death
Updated: 2006-03-06 07:25
The Chinese Ministry of Health Sunday confirmed a 32-year-old man in
Guangdong Province in South China to have died of bird flu.
The victim, identified by surname Lao in a report, is a jobless resident in
Guangzhou City, capital of Guangdong. He showed symptoms of fever and pneumonia
on Feb. 22 and died on March 2.
Lao's symptom onset followed several visits to an agricultural market, where
he stayed long nearby a live poultry slaughtering site.
His samples tested H5N1 positive by the Guangdong Provincial Center for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The provincial health department announced
that he was a suspected human case of bird flu on Saturday.
On Sunday, the national CDC re-tested Lao's samples and also got positive
results. The victim has been confirmed to be infectedwith bird flu in accordance
with the standards of the World HealthOrganization (WHO) and the Chinese
official standards, said the ministry.
Those having close contacts with Lao have been put under medical observation
by provincial health authorities. So far, no abnormal symptoms have been
The ministry has informed the WHO of the case and the regions of Hong Kong,
Macao and Taiwan, as well as several countries.
The new case brought the total number of human cases of bird flu in China to
15. Previously, the country reported 14 cases, in which eight were fatal, two
are under treatment and the other fourhave been discharged from hospital.
A total of 174 human cases of bird flu involving 94 deaths havebeen reported
to the WHO as of March 1, according to the WHO's website.
Environmental contamination by sick or dead birds might be a cause of human
infection of bird flu in the areas where no outbreak in poultry is detected,
Chinese health experts have said.
Judging from infections in different parts of the country, the major source
of contagion is believed to have come from migratory birds, Health Minister Gao
Qiang said while attending a plenary session of the National People's Congress
(NPC) on Sunday.
Experts have also ruled out evidence to suggest that China's bird flu virus
has mutated to a form that can spread between humans, as studies show the avian
flu virus isolated from China's human cases still bears distinct avian features
far different fromthe human flu virus.
"There is no human to human transmission of bird flu in China,"Gao
told China Daily.
Raising public awareness is the priority to fight bird flu in China
currently, while the government has intensified surveillanceon migratory birds,
poultry as well as pneumonia cases of unknown cause, said Zhong Nanshan, a noted
disease control expert.
In rural areas, people still have weak sense of detecting bird flu and
suspecious pneumonia cases, said Zhong at a group discussion of deputies to the
Tenth National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative
Conference (CPPCC), which is in its annual session inBeijing.
No need to worry too much even if the virus mutated to a form transmissible
among people, as long as people give timely reporting, take timely quarantine
measures and seek timely treatment, said Zhong, "therefore, nationwide publicity
of knowledge needs to be enhanced."