Student dies of bird flu in China

January 20th, 2009 - 3:43 pm ICT by IANS  

Changsha (China), Jan 20 (Xinhua) A 16-year-old male student died of bird flu in central China’s Hunan city Tuesday, the third death from the disease this year, health authorities reported.The student, surnamed Wu, fell ill Jan 8 in Guizhou province and was transferred to a hospital Jan 16 after his condition worsened, an official said.

Wu tested positive for the H5N1 strain of avian influenza, according to test results Monday from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

The patient had contact with poultry, the official said. People who had close contact with the patient are under medical observation.

“There is a possibility of human bird flu (spreading) in the near future, but it will not be a large-scale outbreak,” said Shu Yuelong, deputy director of the center’s Virus Control and Prevention Institute.

The fatality rate for bird flu patients is more than 60 percent. Since the symptoms are similar to the common and less deadly strains of flu, patients usually delay seeking treatment.

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