A Chinese man whose son died from bird flu also has the virus, raising concerns of possible human to human transmission.

Scientists have been concerned the deadly H5N1 strain of the virus could change into a form easily passed among humans, sparking a pandemic.

China's official Xinhua news agency says the man from eastern Jiangsu province, identified only by his surname Lu, was recovering Saturday just days after his 24-year- old son died December second from bird flu.

No bird flu outbreak has been reported among the province's wild birds or poultry raising questions about how the son and father may have contracted the virus.

It is possible they contracted it from the same source.

The World Health Organization reports there have been at least 26 human cases of avian flu confirmed in China in recent years, 17 of them fatal.

Bird flu outbreaks were reported last month in Hong Kong, South Korea and Burma.

The WHO says more than 200 people have died of bird flu worldwide since the first outbreak in 2003.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.