Global Alert and Response (GAR)

Avian influenza – situation in China – update 12

16 June 2006

The Ministry of Health in China has confirmed the country’s 19th case of human infection with the H5N1 avian influenza virus.

The patient is a 31-year-old man employed as a truck driver in Shenzhen City, Guangdong Province, near the border with Hong Kong. He developed symptoms on 3 June and was hospitalized on 9 June. He remains hospitalized, in critical condition, with severe pneumonia.

Investigation of his source of infection is under way. Preliminary reports indicate the man visited a local market where live poultry are sold on several occasions prior to symptom onset. However, health authorities have not been able to determine whether he was exposed to infected poultry at that market or elsewhere. H5N1 infections in poultry have not been officially reported in the area.

Of the 19 laboratory-confirmed cases in China reported to date, 12 have been fatal.

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