Shenzhen bus driver in critical condition with suspected case of bird flu

Agence France-Presse has the story:

The man, a bus driver surnamed Chen, was hospitalised with a fever earlier this month and tested positive for the H5N1 avian influenza virus in Shenzhen, the provincial health department said, according to Xinhua news agency.
The report said the 39-year-old was taken to hospital on December 21, but the Hong Kong health department said in a statement he developed symptoms that day and was hospitalised on December 25 because of “severe pneumonia.”
He remains in a critical condition and is receiving emergency treatment. Authorities say the man had apparently had no direct contact with poultry in the month before he was taken ill nor had he left the city.

Nearly 20,000 chickens were culled in Hong Kong last month after authorities found a bird flu-infected carcass at one poultry market.

The virus, which does not pass easily from human to human, has killed more than 330 people around the world, with Indonesia the worst-hit country. Most human infections are the result of direct contact with infected birds.
In people it can cause fever, coughing, a sore throat, pneumonia, respiratory disease and, in about 60 percent of cases, death.
Scientists fear H5N1 will mutate into a form readily transmissible between humans, with the potential to cause millions of deaths.

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