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Mother of bird-flu patient dies from pneumonia
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The mother of a 2-year-old girl, who has been confirmed to be infected with the bird flu virus, died early this year from pneumonia in Hunan Province.

People who had been in close contact with the girl haven't show any signs of infection, China Business News reported today.

The girl is currently in critical condition in People's No. 4 Hospital of Taiyuan City, capital of Shanxi Province.

"Her mother had contact with live poultry around December 21 and she had a little fever on December 28," an official with the public health office of Hunan Province. "Then it developed into pneumonia and she died on January 6."

The girl became ill on January 7 in neighboring Hunan Province and was taken to a hospital in Shanxi, her home province, by her grandparents on January 11, an official with the Shanxi provincial health department said.

The Ministry of Health said in a statement on its Website that the girl was transferred to another hospital after her symptoms worsened.

The ministry did not say how the girl had become infected. There have not been any reports of bird flu outbreaks in Hunan since May 2007.

Zhang Jianxing, deputy director of Shanxi Province, visited the baby girl yesterday.

Yesterday, Shu Yuelong, vice director of virus control and prevention at the National Center for Disease Control and Prevention, warned that China was likely to experience "an epidemic" of human bird flu cases this winter and spring.

The baby girl is one of four confirmed human bird flu cases in the country this month. Two of the patients have died.

(Shanghai Daily January 20, 2009)

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