China reports 19th human case of bird flu
China yesterday confirmed that a 31-year-old man from the southern
economic boom town of Shenzhen bordering Hong Kong is critically ill in
hospital, in the country's 19th human case of H5N1 bird
The man had visited a local market where live poultry
was sold several times before he became ill, according to the Ministry of
Health. Authorities have placed people who were in close contact with the man
under medical observation but none had so far shown any
Twelve of the previous human H5N1 cases reported by China
have been fatal.
The latest case triggered alarm bells across the
border in Hong Kong, which has placed a three-week ban on poultry imports from
More than 120 people worldwide have died from bird flu
since it re-emerged as a threat in 2003, with most of the victims in
Humans are believed to contract the virus mainly from direct
contact with infected animals. Scientists fear a global pandemic if the virus
mutates and becomes easily transmissible between humans.
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