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China Confirms New Human Bird Flu Case

Southeast China's Fujian province was on high alert after it confirmed a human case of bird flu, an official said Thursday//.

Zhang Changpin, vice governor of Fujian, ordered compulsory inoculation of all fowls to prevent an outbreak of the epidemic. He asked the health, stock-raising and forestry authorities at all levels to be on high alert and monitor the situation closely.

Li, a 44-year-old farmer in Jian'ou city, developed symptoms of fever, cough and expectoration Feb 18. Tests by the provincial disease control and prevention centre showed that the patient was infected with the H5N1 strain of the bird flu virus.

The patient is said to be receiving treatment at a local hospital and is in a critical condition. She was confirmed to have made contact with dead fowls.

Li is the country's first human case of bird flu in about seven weeks. On Jan 10, a 37-year-old farmer in east China's Anhui Province had contracted bird flu but had recovered subsequently.

The virus has killed 14 people in China since 2003.

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