GUANGZHOU, Dec. 31 (Xinhua) -- A bus driver died in hospital Saturday after being infected with the H5N1 avian influenza virus in the southern city of Shenzhen in Guangdong province, local authorities said.
The 39-year-old man surnamed Chen died of multiple organ failures at 1 p.m., the Department of Health of Guangdong said in a statement.
Another 120 people who had contact with the driver have not reported any symptoms, the department said.
Chen was hospitalized for fever on Dec. 21 and tested positive for the H5N1 avian influenza virus in the Bao'an district of Shenzhen, which borders Hong Kong, the department said.
The department also said that during the month prior to his fever, he had no direct contact with poultry and had not traveled out of the city.
The General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) on Dec. 22 suspended supplies of live poultry to Hong Kong after a dead chicken tested positive in Hong Kong for the H5N1 avian influenza virus.
The discovery of the infected bird prompted Hong Kong's health authorities to raise the city's response level for bird flu from "alert" to "serious" and to cull more than 17,000 chickens at a poultry market where the infected carcass was found.
Avian influenza, commonly known as bird flu, is a contagious disease caused by viruses that normally infect birds and, less commonly, pigs. It can be fatal to humans.
According to data released by the WHO, the virus has infected 573 people around the world, killing 336 as of December this year.