A 39-year-old man in southern China diagnosed with the first case of the bird flu in over a year died from the disease on Saturday, CNN reported.
The man, a bus driver, was only identified by Chinese media outlet Xinhua by his surname Chen and was hospitalized in Shenzhen on December 21 with a high fever and pneumonia, The New York Times reported. He then tested positive for the H5N1 avian influenza virus according to the provincial health department.
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The man had no direct contact with poultry in the month before getting sick. According to the Southern Daily, Guangdong’s official newspaper, 120 people who had been in contact with the man didn’t have any developed signs of sickness, Reuters reported.
Farmers have been told they couldn’t send chickens to the market for 21 days and the territory’s director declared the Cheung Sha Wan Temporary Wholesale Poultry Market an infected place, CNN reported. The General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine suspended supplies of live poultry to Hong Kong.
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Health officials said the Chinese health ministry informed the World Health Organization about the case, the Guardian reported. According to the WHO, 573 people have been infected worldwide with the bird flu since 2003, and 336 have died, The Times reported.
The H5N1 virus is normally found in birds but can jump to people who don’t have immunity to it, according to Reuters. Recently, the virus has become active in various parts of the world, mainly in Asia.
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