Second H5N1 infection reported in China; human to human transmission possible

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Monday, December 10, 2007

A 52-year-old man, said to be the father of a man who died of the H5N1 Avian Flu virus in China on December 2, 2007, has also contracted the virus and Chinese officials are now concerned about human to human transmission.

The father, who along with his deceased son has only been identified by his last name of Lu, is said to be recovering from the virus at a hospital.

Neither of the men have had contact with dead or infected poultry, and there are no reports of any other Bird Flu infections at this time. It is still not fully known how the two contracted the virus, and officials are not ruling out human to human transmission.

The son was from the Jiangsu Province of eastern China and was admitted to the hospital after having severe flu-like symptoms. Lu was originally diagnosed with pneumonia. Tests done on blood samples from Lu later confirmed the presence of the H5N1 virus.

At least 68 other individuals are being kept under close observation, after having come in close contact with both men, but officials say that so far, none of those other individuals are showing any signs of infection.

As of December 9, the World Health Organization reported that the total number of deaths from the H5N1 in China is 17.

Worldwide, 207 people have died from the virus since 2003.

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