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Woman dies of suspected bird flu in Shanghai-TV

Written by: Staff
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SHANGHAI, Mar 23 (Reuters) A woman has died of what could be bird flu in the eastern Chinese city of Shanghai, state television today said.

The patient, a 29-year-old female migrant worker, died on Tuesday of a pneumonia of unconfirmed origin, an official at the Shanghai municipality information office told Reuters.

The case is under investigation for bird flu, Shanghai Television said.

China has recorded 15 confirmed cases of bird flu in humans since late last year, 10 of whom have died.

Doctors and nurses who tended the patient were under quarantine, said a source at the hospital, adding it was awaiting final test results.

''It's a suspected case, but not confirmed,'' the source told Reuters.

The Ministry of Health declined immediate comment. The World Health Organisation said it was investigating.

''We are verifying this rumour at the moment. We are still treating this as a rumour since there is no confirmation yet,'' said Aphaluck Bhatiasevi, WHO spokeswoman in Beijing.

Epidemiologists fear that bird flu could trigger a pandemic if it mutates to a form which can be transmitted from human to human.

REUTERS DKS PM1655

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