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China confirms 12th human bird flu death

Written by: Staff

BEIJING, Apr 20 (Reuters) A 21-year-old man in China's central province of Hubei died yesterday of H5N1 bird flu, the official Xinhua news agency reported today, quoting local health authorities.

Xinhua identified the victim as a migrant worker surnamed Lai who worked as a security guard in the provincial capital Wuhan. He returned home last month to attend a funeral and developed symptoms of pneumonia on April 1, it said.

Lai was the 12th Chinese to die from the virus since the first death in November of last year. It was not immediately clear if China had informed the World Health Organisation, which officially confirms human deaths from bird flu.

China has recorded 17 cases of human bird flu infections.

Epidemiologists fear that bird flu could mutate to 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.


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