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China: Man Dies of Bird Flu


Health workers pack dead chicken at a wholesale poultry market in Hong Kong, December 21, 2011.

Health workers pack dead chicken at a wholesale poultry market in Hong Kong, December 21, 2011.

Chinese health officials say a man who tested positive for the deadly H5N1 bird flu virus died Saturday in the southern city of Shenzhen.

City officials said the 39-year-old bus driver, surnamed Chen, was hospitalized with a fever on December 21 and tested positive for the virus.

The southern city borders Hong Kong, where thousands of chickens were slaughtered and live poultry imports from China were suspended after two birds tested positive with the strain earlier this month.

The virus has killed more than 330 people around the world since it was first detected in 2003, with most human infections caused by direct contact with birds.

Scientists fear H5N1 could mutate into a form readily transmissible between humans, with the potential to cause millions of deaths.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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