China reports new H5N1 case

Feb 2, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – China's health ministry recently revealed that a 21-year-old woman from Hunan province is hospitalized with an H5N1 avian influenza infection, the country's seventh case so far this year, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported today.

The woman got sick on Jan 23 and remains in the hospital in stable condition. Her illness raises China's H5N1 case count to 38 cases, 25 of them fatal, according to the WHO. The woman is being treated at a hospital in Changsha, Hunan's capital, according to a report today from Xinhua, China's state news agency. Hunan province is in south central China.

An investigation into the source of the woman's illnesses suggests she may have been exposed to sick and dead poultry, according to the WHO. The woman was a farmer who had been in contact with diseased and dead poultry, according to the Xinhua report.

Meanwhile, a 29-year-old man from Guizhou province in southwestern China who was diagnosed with an H5N1 infection last month is in stable condition, according to another report today from Xinhua.

Sun Zhaolin, head of Guizhou Provincial People's Hospital, told the news agency that the hospital received treatment guidance from China's health ministry and that, though the man is out of danger, he remains under medical observation.

Of China's seven H5N1 cases that have been recorded this year, four have died. This total does not include a woman who got sick on Dec 24, 2008, and died on Jan 5; the WHO counts the woman as a 2008 case because of her illness-onset date.

See also:

Feb 2 WHO statement

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