China confirmed on Friday that the father of a Chinese man who died of bird flu has also been infected with the H5N1 virus that causes the disease.
The 52-year-old man, surnamed Lu, was the father of the 24-year-old victim who died on Sunday, and a native of Nanjing, capital of Jiangsu. He developed symptoms of fever and was hospitalized for lower lobe pneumonia on Monday, according to the Ministry of Health.
Respiratory tract sample examinations by the provincial and national Disease Control and Prevention Center on Wednesday and Thursday confirmed he was H5N1 positive. The term refers to the virus's genetic make-up.
The Ministry of Health had also reported the case to the World Health Organization, authorities in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, and some foreign governments.
The local government had taken prevention and control measures. All the people who had close contact with Lu have been put under strict medical observation. So far, they have shown no signs of the disease.
Lu's son was said to have no contact with dead poultry and the Jiangsu Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Bureau had said earlier this week no bird flu epidemic had been discovered in the province.
China has reported 27 human cases of bird flu since 2003. Lu's son was the 17th Chinese to die of the disease since 2003.
Scientists fear the virus could mutate into a form that could pass easily from person to person, sparking a global pandemic.
(Xinhua News Agency December 8, 2007)