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China bird flu patient recovers, cause a mystery
posted by admin on 03/08/06
The H5N1 strain of avian flu in Shenzhen.
BEIJING, Aug 3 (Reuters) - A Chinese man who was diagnosed with bird flu in June has recovered and been released from hospital, but where and how he picked up the virus is still a mystery, state media said on Thursday.
The 31-year-old truck driver from southern Shenzhen city, which lies just over the border from Hong Kong, possibly contracted bird flu after visiting a poultry market in May, the official China Daily reported.
But neither his wife, who bought a chicken there, nor the other family members who ate it fell sick, the newspaper said.
"This was a one-off case. Shenzhen is not a danger zone for bird flu," it quoted Jiang Hanping, head of the city's health department, as saying, adding there had been no other reports of the H5N1 strain of avian flu in Shenzhen.
The World Health Organisation said the case showed there were still poultry outbreaks that were not being detected.
"There have been several cases in China which have not had a directly identified source of infection, so it's not surprising," WHO spokesman Roy Wadia said. "Many outbreaks in poultry -- and many infected birds -- are never really picked up."
Xinhua news agency said the hospital had to work hard to save the man because he was very sick by the time he was admitted. Treatment methods including using blood serum from previously recovered patients to fight the virus.
It did not elaborate.
China has reported about 40 outbreaks of bird flu in birds across a dozen provinces and regions over the past year and, since November, 12 people are known to have died from the virus. Seven have recovered.
The H5N1 virus has spread among birds across Asia, Europe and Africa. Contact with infected birds is the most common way to contract the virus.
Scientists fear H5N1 will mutate into a strain that spreads between humans, sparking a pandemic in which millions of people could die around the globe.
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