Avian Influenza
China announces two more human cases of bird flu
Feb 26, 2006 - 5:15:37 PM

A nine-year-old girl in east China's Zhejiang province and a 26-year-old woman farmer in east China's Anhui province were confirmed to be infected with the H5N1 virus of bird flu, the health ministry said Saturday.

The Zhejiang girl, surnamed You, lives in Anji county. She showed symptoms of fever and pneumonia Feb 10 and has been hospitalised. She is now in a critical condition, said a report released by the ministry.

Investigations revealed that You visited relatives twice in Guangde county of Anhui province before she fell ill. During her visits, chickens raised at her relatives' homes got sick and some died.

The exact source of You's infection is under further investigation, said the ministry.

You's samples tested H5N1 positive by both the Zhejiang provincial centre for disease control and prevention (CDC) and China's national CDC.

The other new case in Anhui is from Yingshang county, and the patient is identified by the surname Wang. She developed fever and pneumonia symptoms Feb 11. The report says she is also in critical condition.

Wang had contact with sick and dead poultry, according to investigations. The local agricultural department has isolated the H5N1 virus strain from samples of dead chickens in Yingshang county, said the ministry.

Wang's samples tested H5N1 positive by both the Anhui provincial CDC and the national CDC.

The two patients have been confirmed to be infected with bird flu in accordance with the standards of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Chinese official standards, said the ministry.

Those having close contacts with You and Wang have been put under medical observation by local health authorities. So far, no abnormal symptoms have been reported.

These cases brought the total number of human cases of bird flu in China to 14. Previously, the country reported 12 cases, in which eight patients died and the remaining four have been discharged from hospital.

A total of 170 human cases of bird flu involving 92 deaths have been reported to the WHO by Feb 20, according to the organisation.

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