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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 November 2005, 17:47 GMT
China has second bird flu death
China has confirmed its second human death from bird flu, a 35-year-old woman from eastern Anhui province.

The farmer died 11 days after she developed pneumonia-like symptoms after contact with sick and dead poultry, state news agency Xinhua reported.

Tests confirmed she had the deadly H5N1 form of the disease, China's Centre for Disease Control and Prevention said.

China's first human fatality also came from Anhui. A boy in central China also caught the disease but recovered.

The H5N1 virus has killed more than 60 people in South East Asia since the latest outbreak began in 2003.

The latest woman to die first developed symptoms on 11 November and died on Tuesday, Xinhua quoted China's health ministry as saying.


Her surname was Xu and she lived in Xiuning County in Anhui province, which has seen bird flu outbreaks among poultry in the past month.

The first fatality was a 24-year-old poultry worker who died on 10 November, the health ministry said.

The nine-year-old boy who recovered had developed pneumonia symptoms following an outbreak of bird flu in his village in central Hunan province.

A duck is vaccinated against bird flu in China
Beijing has said it will vaccinate all China's estimated 14bn poultry
His sister also fell ill and died. It is suspected she too had bird flu, but her body was cremated before samples could be taken, so China only counts three official human cases so far.

Outbreaks of the H5N1 strain among birds were first spotted in Vietnam and Thailand in 2003.

It spread to several other countries in the region and beyond, with reports of the disease among poultry in Russia and Kazakhstan in July - and outbreaks in Turkey and Romania.

The authorities in China have culled millions of birds, but experts are warning that the virus is entrenched in parts of the country.

Beijing has said it will vaccinate all of the country's estimated 14 billion poultry, but it is feared wild birds could spread the virus.

The disease generally still does not transmit easily to humans, but fears of a pandemic have been reinforced by its spread.


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