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Man Dies from Bird Flu in Southern China

6 years ago24 views

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Another deadly case of bird flu has appeared in China. It's the first one in more than a year and a half. But authorities are worried that it could spread, because they don't know how the victim was infected.

A man in China's Guangdong province died on Friday from the H5N1 virus, also called the bird flu.

The victim, surnamed Chen, lived in Shenzhen. It's an industrial city just across the border with Hong Kong. About 12 days ago, Hong Kong authorities had culled more than 17,000 chickens at a market—because one of them had tested positive for bird flu.

The virus is normally found in poultry—but it can occasionally be passed on to people. There have been over 500 human cases of bird flu worldwide since 2003. More than half of infections have been fatal. Scientists worry that if the virus mutates to be more infectious to people, it could become a global pandemic.

In China, authorities are especially concerned that the virus could spread during the busy travel season later this month. More than 100 million people will travel long distances in crowded trains and busses for the Lunar New Year.

State-run newspaper the Southern Daily said that none of the 120 people who had had contact with Mr. Chen in the past month have any signs of the illness. It's unclear how Chen was infected.

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