One more human bird flu case found in China

According to Chinese health officials, a 10-year-old girl has been infected with the bird flu virus.

It is reported that the girl from southern Guangxi region has been ill with fever and pneumonia since November 23, and has tested positive for the deadly H5N1 virus.

The child has been under emergency treatment in hospital, and people who were in close contact with her are under observation but as yet no abnormal symptoms have been observed.

There have been two deaths in recent weeks in China from the virus, which scientists fear could mutate into a form that could be passed easily from person to person, sparking a global pandemic.

Both the victims were women from the eastern Anhui province.

In many parts of Asia bird flu is endemic in poultry and it has killed almost 70 people there since 2003.

Since mid-October there have been more than 20 outbreaks of bird flu across China, and Beijing has promised resources and openness in the fight against the deadly disease, after being widely criticized following a cover-up of the SARS virus in 2003.

To date China has culled 20 million birds and has announced plans to vaccinate billions more.

However Health Minister Gao Qiang has admitted that ill-equipped local doctors may be unable to detect H5N1.

Disease control teams have been sent into Ziyuan county where the 10 year old girl lives and experts are looking into the source of the virus as no outbreaks had apparently been reported there previously.

China has also reported the case to the World Health Organization, nearby Hong Kong and Macao, and some other countries.

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