Jan 20, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – China's health ministry has announced that a 16-year-old boy who was recently listed in critical condition with an H5N1 avian influenza infection has died.
The boy, from Huaihua city in Hunan province, died this morning, according to a report from Xinhua, China's state news agency. Yesterday the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed his infection as China's 34th case. If the WHO confirms the death, he will be listed as the country's 23rd H5N1 fatality.
The WHO reported yesterday that the boy had been exposed to sick and dead poultry. The latest fatality is China's third death from the H5N1 virus since the first of the year.
Another Chinese patient who is sick with an H5N1 infection, a 2-year-old girl listed in yesterday's WHO report, remains hospitalized in critical condition, according to Xinhua.
In a related development, some Chinese news sources are reporting that the girl's mother died on Jan 6 from pneumonia, according to a report today from Shanghai Daily, an English language newspaper. An official from Hunan's public health office said the mother had contact with live poultry on Dec 21 and came down with a fever 7 days later.
The report did not say if health officials obtained samples or conducted tests for the H5N1 virus.
Jan 19 WHO report