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New Human Case of Bird Flu Confirmed
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On Monday the Chinese Ministry of Health confirmed a man had died from the H5N1 bird flu virus in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. The victim, a 62-year-old farmer, became ill on June 19 and died on July 12.

Epidemiological research showed the man did not have close contact with any human cases of bird flu and sick or dead poultry in the last month of his life.

The regional center for disease control (CDC) and prevention tested his samples and got negative results 14 days after he fell ill but a re-test by the national CDC on July 16 indicated he was H5N1 positive.

On August 2, the national CDC looked at the rest of his samples left from previous tests and again got positive results, said the ministry. They confirmed it as a human case of bird flu by both Chinese and World Health Organization standards and reported the new case to them.

Local health authorities have tightened prevention and control measures but have found no bird flu symptoms in people who had been in close contact with the farmer.

This brings China's total number of human cases of bird flu to 21 and the death toll from the disease to 14.

An outbreak of bird flu in poultry in Xinjiang's Aksu City was confirmed on July 14. A total of 3,045 chickens were killed by the disease and another 356,976 were culled when the outbreak was confirmed, according to the Ministry of Agriculture. It announced on August 10 that the outbreak had been brought under control.

The information office of the Ministry of Health said they could not link the new human case with outbreaks among poultry in the region. The source of infection of the new case is still unclear, according to spokesman of the Ministry of Health Mao Qun'an.

(Xinhua News Agency August 15, 2006)

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