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Deadly virus claims first victim in almost a year

[ 2009-01-07 14:23]     字号 [] [] []  
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Bird flu claimed its first victim in China in almost a year when a woman infected with the H5N1 strain died in Beijing on Monday, the local health bureau said yesterday.

Huang Yanqing, 19, a native of Fujian province, died around 7:20, the Beijing municipal health bureau said in a press release. She fell ill on Dec 24 and was hospitalized three days later.

Experts from the Beijing Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the Academy of Military Medical Sciences tested Huang's virus samples. The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, which reviewed the results, confirmed that the sample tested positive for the H5N1 strain, the bureau said.

The Ministry of Health, too, said Huang had been infected with the highly pathogenic avian influenza.

Central health authorities have informed the World Health Organization (WHO), and the health departments of Hong Kong and Macao about the case.

The authorities held an emergency meeting in Beijing on Monday evening to deal with a possible outbreak of the disease. The capital has put all medical institutions on high alert and intensified bird flu prevention and control measures, including disinfecting and isolating the patient's house and the hospital wards she was taken to.

Huang came to Beijing in February 2008 and used to live at Dongcun village in Sanjianfang town of Chaoyang district.

She and two of her provincial natives bought nine ducks from a market in Langfang in neighboring Hebei province on December 19. They got the ducks slaughtered at the market after which Huang reportedly cleaned the ducks' internal organs, the health bureau said.

She gave a duck each to her father, uncle and a friend, and kept the others for herself.

"According to initial investigation, 13 people ate the ducks but Huang was the only one to fall ill," said Zhao Qingchao, an official with the Langfang local government.

(英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Deadly virus claims first victim in almost a year

About the broadcaster:

Deadly virus claims first victim in almost a year

Nancy Matos is a foreign expert at China Daily Website. Born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, Nancy is a graduate of the Broadcast Journalism and Media program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Her journalism career in broadcast and print has taken her around the world from New York to Portugal and now Beijing. Nancy is happy to make the move to China and join the China Daily team.