Chinese Bus Driver Infected With Bird Flu Dies

Posted on December 31, 2011

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BEIJING (AP) — A Chinese bus driver who tested positive for the H5N1 bird flu virus died Saturday in a city bordering Hong Kong, health officials said, in the country’s first reported case of the disease in humans in 18 months.

The man surnamed Chen died in the wealthy southern city of Shenzhen, provincial health officials said. Shenzhen is separated by a small river from Hong Kong, where thousands of birds have been slaughtered after two were confirmed to have the virus last week.

During the month prior to his fever, Chen, 39, apparently had no direct contact with poultry and did not travel out of Shenzhen, a metropolis of 10 million people.

H5N1 rarely infects humans and usually only those who come into close contact with diseased poultry. But among those infected, nearly 60 percent die, and scientists are closely watching the virus for any signs it is becoming more easily transmissible from human to human.

NYTimes

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