Bird flu claims another victim in China
Beijing - A man in southwest China who contracted the bird flu virus died on Sunday, state media reported, the second human death in the Asian country from the virulent disease in just under a month.
The victim fell ill on January 6 and was subsequently admitted to hospital in Guiyang - capital of Guizhou province - where his condition rapidly deteriorated, the official Xinhua news agency said.
Tests confirmed he had contracted the H5N1 avian influenza virus, it added.
The Hong Kong Department of Health said in a statement on Sunday it had been notified of the case by the mainland's health authorities, which said the 39-year-old patient had not had any obvious exposure to poultry.
He is the second man to die from bird flu in China in less than a month, after a bus driver in the southern province of Guangdong passed away from the disease on December 31.
The H5N1 virus is fatal in humans in about 60% of cases.
However, it does not pass easily among humans, and the World Health Organization says it has never identified a "sustained human-to-human spread" of the virus since it re-emerged in 2003.