China: Bird flu death not from human-human spread

January 2, 2012
In this photo taken on Saturday, Dec. 31, 2011, Ma Hanwu, vice director of Shenzhen Center for Disease Control and Prevention, right, speaks as Zhou Boping, director of the Shenzhen No. 3 People's Hospital looks at the documents during a press conference about a bird flu patient in Shenzhen in south China's Guangdong province. The strain of H5H1 bird flu that killed a Chinese man cannot spread among people, a health agency said Monday, appealing for calm after the country's first reported case of the disease in humans in 18 months. (AP Photo) CHINA OUT

(AP) -- The strain of H5H1 bird flu that killed a Chinese man cannot spread among people, a health agency said Monday, appealing for calm after the country's first reported case of the disease in humans in 18 months.

Genetic analysis indicated the virus spread directly from poultry to the victim, who died Saturday in the southern city of Shenzhen, the Shenzhen Disease Control Center said in a statement reported by the official Xinhua News Agency.

"Though it is highly pathogenic to human beings, the virus can not spread among people," the statement said, according to Xinhua. "There is no need for Shenzhen citizens to panic."

H5N1 rarely infects humans and usually only those who come into close contact with diseased poultry. Scientists are closely watching the virus for any signs it is becoming more easily transmissible from human to human.

A 39-year-old bus driver surnamed Chen developed a fever Dec. 21 and was hospitalized Dec. 25, according to an earlier statement by city and provincial authorities. The provincial health department said experts confirmed Saturday that he was infected with H5N1.

Xinhua said still were trying to figure out where he was infected.

The Guangdong health department has said 120 people who had close contact with Chen have not developed any abnormal symptoms.

The says globally 336 people have died from 573 confirmed bird since 2003. Of these, 40 cases were in China, 26 of which were fatal.

Chen's death was a week after two dead birds tested positive for the virus in Hong Kong, which is just across a river from Shenzhen.

More than 19,000 birds at a Hong Kong market were slaughtered and imports and sales of live poultry were banned for three weeks after a chicken carcass tested positive for H5N1. Lab tests later confirmed that an Oriental magpie robin found dead on Dec. 17 was also infected.

China's last reported human case of H5N1 was in June 2010. A pregnant 22-year-old woman from central Hubei province died after being exposed to sick and dead poultry.

shares

Related Stories

Hong Kong raises bird flu alert level, bans imports

December 20, 2011

Hong Kong raised its bird flu alert level to "serious" on Tuesday and announced it is to cull 17,000 chickens after three birds tested positive for the deadly H5N1 strain of the virus.

Hong Kong culls chickens to battle bird flu

December 21, 2011

Hong Kong culled 17,000 chickens Wednesday and suspended live poultry imports for 21 days after three birds tested positive for the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu virus.

Chinese man critical with bird flu

December 30, 2011

A man is in critical condition after testing positive for the deadly H5N1 bird flu virus in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, state media said Saturday.

Man dies from bird flu in southern China

December 31, 2011

A bus driver in southern China who contracted the bird flu virus died Saturday, health authorities said, in the nation's first reported human case of the deadly disease in 18 months.

Recommended for you

Experimental MERS vaccine shows promise in animal studies

July 28, 2015

A two-step regimen of experimental vaccines against Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) prompted immune responses in mice and rhesus macaques, report National Institutes of Health scientists who designed the vaccines. ...

Can social isolation fuel epidemics?

July 21, 2015

Conventional wisdom has it that the more people stay within their own social groups and avoid others, the less likely it is small disease outbreaks turn into full-blown epidemics. But the conventional wisdom is wrong, according ...

Lack of knowledge on animal disease leaves humans at risk

July 20, 2015

Researchers from the University of Sydney have painted the most detailed picture to date of major infectious diseases shared between wildlife and livestock, and found a huge gap in knowledge about diseases which could spread ...

IBD genetically similar in Europeans and non-Europeans

July 20, 2015

The first genetic study of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) to include individuals from diverse populations has shown that the regions of the genome underlying the disease are consistent around the world. This study, conducted ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.