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China reports new human bird flu infection

Written by: Staff
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BEIJING, Apr 18 (Reuters) China's Health Ministry confirmed on Tuesday that a 21-year-old man in the central province of Hubei has been infected with H5N1 bird flu.

The man, a migrant worker, was in critical condition, the ministry said on its Web site, adding that it had informed the World Health Organisation.

The latest case brings to 17 the number of human bird flu infections in the world's most populous nation. Eleven have died.

China reported its first death from the virus in November 2005.

Epidemiologists fear that bird flu could mutate into a form where it could pass easily among humans, potentially triggering a pandemic in which millions could die.

There have been more than 30 outbreaks in poultry in a dozen provinces over the past year in China.

REUTERS OM RAI1845

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