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Death of woman confirmed bird flu related: China health ministry

by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) Feb 26, 2008
China's health authorities confirmed Tuesday that a woman in southern China had died after contracting bird flu, as the nation further reported an epidemic among animals in its southwest.

A 44-year-old woman, who died on Monday in Guangdong province, tested positive for the deadly H5N1 bird flu by central government health officials, the health ministry said in a statement on its website.

The ministry has reported the case to the World Health Organisation, as well as health authorities in neighbouring Hong Kong and Macao, it said.

The death was the third fatality linked to bird flu in China this year and the 20th since the disease first appeared in the nation in 2003.

The woman, a migrant worker, died after developing a fever and cough following contact with dead poultry, according to Guangdong officials.

Her death followed those of a 41-year-old man in southern China's Guangxi region earlier in February and a 22-year-old man in central Hunan province in January, both confirmed by authorities as being due to bird flu.

Meanwhile, agricultural authorities announced Tuesday an outbreak among poultry that occurred on February 17 in Guizhou province, where it killed nearly 4,000 fowl before a cull of some 240,000 other birds brought it under control.

The outbreak was confirmed as involving the H5N1 strain of the virus, the agricultural ministry said.

The official Xinhua news agency said it was the fourth outbreak in poultry reported by authorities this year, following two in Tibet and another in the northwestern region of Xinjiang.

The latest bird flu incidents come despite a huge campaign last year to try to contain the disease, during which authorities attempted to vaccinate tens of millions of poultry and stepped up public education efforts.

Bird flu has killed more than 230 people worldwide, according to the World Health Organisation.

Scientists fear the virus could eventually mutate into a form that is much more easily transmissible between humans, triggering a global pandemic.

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Woman dies in southern China, tested positive for bird flu
Beijing (AFP) Feb 25, 2008
A 44-year-old woman in southern China who tested positive for bird flu died on Monday, health officials said, in what is likely the country's third reported death from the virus this year.

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