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Bird Flu Survivor's Serum Used as Treatment
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The farmer from east China's Anhui Province, who contracted the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu last December but was later cured of the disease, has donated his serum for treatment of a rural Chinese woman who was confirmed last month to be infected with the same virus.

Xu Longshan, spokesman and chief of the Fujian Provincial Professional Panel for Prevention and Control of Human Infection of Bird Flu said the female patient had developed rapidly progressing pneumonia and went into a coma.

He said health workers from Anhui Province on Thursday escorted the farmer, identified by his surname as Li, to Fuzhou, capital of Fujian Province, where experts from the blood center affiliated with the Fujian Provincial Bureau of Health got serum from him the second day.

Li has since returned home.

"The serum was brought to Jian'ou on the same day, and so far, medical workers have carried out the first round of injection on the woman who was just confirmed of being infected of the lethal strain of the avian disease," said Xu.

"The method is new but certainly will be of some benefit in improving the woman's capability of fighting against new rounds of infection," said Xu, who admitted it would be some time before the woman could develop her own immunity against the disease.

Li, 44, is a native of Damiao Village, a marketplace in the mountainous Town of Xiaosong. The woman, who kept five chickens at her home, developed symptoms including fever on February 18. She had visited village clinics and town hospitals before being hospitalized on February 24 in the Jian'ou City Hospital.

She ate two chickens she had raised, but her husband and son, who also ate the chickens, have not developed bird flu.

(Xinhua News Agency March 5, 2007)

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