BEIJING, Jan. 31 (Xinhua) -- A 21-year-old female farmer was confirmed
infected with bird flu in central China's Hunan Province, said the provincial
health bureau on Saturday.
The farmer, surnamed Shu, fell ill on Jan. 23 in Xupu County of the
province and was hospitalized at the county's People's Hospital on Jan. 26, said
a statement from the bureau.
Shu was transferred to a hospital in Changsha, capital of the province, on
Thursday. So far she has been in a stable condition and become better.
According to the test result on Friday from the Chinese Center for Disease
Control and Prevention, the farmer tested positive for the H5N1 strain of avian
An investigation found that Shu had contact with fowls that died of disease
before becoming sick.
Hunan has launched an emergency response against the virus. Those who had
close contact with the patient are under medical observation, but none of them
has been found ill so far.
The Health Ministry said it had reported the case to the World Health
Organization (WHO) and informed the health authorities of China's Hong Kong and
Macao special administrative regions and relevant countries.
According to the health department of Hunan province, a patient from
Guizhou province was diagnosed to be infected with bird flu in Huaihua of Hunan
on January 19, who died a day later.
China reported five deaths from bird flu this year. The rest were a
19-year-old woman in Beijing on Jan. 5, a 27-year-old woman in Shandong on Jan.
17, a 31-year-old woman in Xinjiang on Jan. 23and an 18-year-old man in Guangxi
on Jan. 26.
According to statistics from WHO, China has reported an accumulated number
of bird flu cases of 38 since 2003, with 25 deaths. The year 2006 saw the peak
of bird flu reports by China, with 13 cases and 8 deaths.