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Chinese Woman Dies of New Bird Flu Strain

  • VOA News

Chinese authorities have announced the death of a 73-year-old woman in an eastern province who died after contracting a new strain of bird flu.

Reports from the official Xinhua news agency said the woman in Jiangxi province died December 6 of respiratory failure, after being diagnosed with the H10N8 virus.

China's national disease center believes the case is isolated and that the risk of the virus spreading to humans is low.

Xinhua reported the woman had visited a live poultry market prior to getting the virus. It also said her relatives have not shown any symptoms of the virus.

Officials say the woman also suffered from severe pneumonia, high blood pressure and heart problems, which may have lessened her immunity.

In recent years, China has dealt with various strains of deadly bird flu that have infected humans.

This year, China reported at least 139 infections of the H7N9 virus, which first appeared in March. At least 45 of those infected died.

A more common form of avian flu, H5N1, has killed more than 360 people worldwide in the past decade, including many in China.

Experts say it is very difficult for bird flu to spread between humans, though earlier this year scientists recorded the first case of probable person-to-person transmission of the H7N9 virus.