Chinese man dies from bird flu virus
4th January 2012

A 39 year old male bus driver from Shenzhen, in southern China’s Guangdong province, has passed away after developing the H5N1 bird flu virus. The man, surnamed “Chen”, first developed a fever on 21 December and was admitted into hospital on Christmas Day due to severe pneumonia. He then died on 31 December after testing positive for H5N1 and suffering multiple organ failure. Chen’s death occurred just a week after two dead birds were found to have the virus in Hong Kong, located merely across a river from Shenzhen.

The virus primarily infects birds and it is usually only those who come into close contact with diseased poultry that are at risk of contracting it. The disease control center have confirmed that Chen developed the disease directly from poultry. “Though it is highly pathogenic to human beings, the virus cannot spread among people.” They further added: “There is no need for Shenzhen citizens to panic.”

The Guandong health department states that of the 120 people to have had close contact with Chen, none have developed any abnormal symptoms or signs of the H5N1 virus. Furthermore, the World Health Organization has said that there have been 336 fatalities from 573 confirmed bird flu cases within the last 9 years. The statistics show that 40 of the cases were in China and there were 26 deaths from those. China’s previous known episode of bird flu in humans was back in June 2010 after a pregnant 22-year old woman from the central Hubei province died after being exposed to sick and dead poultry.

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