NewsChina
HEALTH

China reports second fatal case of bird flu this year, in Guizhou

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 24 February, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 24 February, 2013, 5:21am
 

Health authorities said a man in the southwestern province of Guizhou died of bird flu yeserday. His is the second death from the H5N1 virus in China this year.

The 31-year-old died in hospital in the city of Guiyang on Friday, the Guizhou province health department statement said, adding that no other human cases of bird flu had been reported in the province. Another city resident, a 21-year-old woman, died from the virus earlier this month.

Xinhua said both victims had come into close contact with birds, but it was not known if the cases were related.

The H5N1 virus typically spreads from birds to humans through direct contact, but experts fear it could mutate into a form transmissible between humans with the potential to trigger a pandemic.

More than 365 people have died of bird flu globally since the virus re-emerged in 2003, according to the World Health Organisation. Its figures show that China saw 25 deadly cases of the virus between 2003 and 2009 before numbers tailed off to one fatality in each of the three following years. The deadliest year of the past decade on the mainland saw eight deaths in 2006.

China is considered one of the nations most at risk from bird flu epidemics because it has the world's biggest poultry population and many chickens in rural areas are kept close to humans.

In the past the mainland has been accused of covering up the extent of bird flu outbreaks, exacerbating fears when new cases are reported.

Separate outbreaks among birds were reported last year in the northern region of Ningxia and the northwestern autonomous region of Xinjiang , prompting massive culls of chickens.

Share

 

Send to a friend

To forward this article using your default email client (e.g. Outlook), click here.

Enter multiple addresses separated by commas(,)

For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive