H5N1 bird flu claimed the life of the third human in China this year as the Ministry of Health confirmed on Tuesday the death of a migrant worker in south China's Guangdong Province.
The 44-year-old woman surnamed Zhang in Haifeng County of Shanwei City developed symptoms of fever and a cough since Feb. 16 and was hospitalized on Feb. 22. Her symptoms worsened despite treatment.
Zhang died on Feb. 25 after all rescue measures failed, the ministry said.
Her specimens tested positive for the bird flu virus strain H5N1, said the country's Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Zhang, a migrant worker from Sichuan Province, was found to have had contact with poultry that had died of the illness, according to the Health Ministry.
The local government undertook prevention and control measures once the case was reported. Altogether 83 people who had close contacts with Zhang were put under strict medical observation. So far, none has shown signs of the disease, the ministry said.
Zhang brought the number of confirmed human bird flu cases in China to 30 since 2003. She was also the 20th to be killed by the disease.
On Feb. 18, the Ministry of Health confirmed that a 22-year-old man surnamed Li in the central province of Hunan tested positive for H5N1. He died on Jan. 16 at 5 p.m.
On Feb. 20, a 41-year-old man surnamed Liang, who had tested positive for H5N1, died in Nanning, capital of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
World Health Organization statistics show as of Feb. 1, human bird flu infections had claimed 225 lives worldwide.
(Xinhua News Agency February 27, 2008)