From: Reuters
Published February 25, 2008 12:10 AM

Suspected H5N1 patient dies in China

HONG KONG (Reuters) - A 44-year-old woman in China's southern Guangdong province suspected of contracting the H5N1 bird flu virus has died, the Hong Kong government said on Monday.

The migrant worker had contact with poultry and died after developing fever and a cough, China's official Xinhua news agency reported.

"We just received news that she died this morning," a spokeswoman for Hong Kong's Health Department said, adding that there was no confirmation yet as to the cause of death.

The latest suspected case comes after the country reported this month two confirmed H5N1 deaths, one in central Hunan province and the other in southern Guangxi.

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China's health authorities informed Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection earlier that the 44-year-old woman from Guangdong had developed symptoms on February 16.

It gave no further details.

Of the 29 cases confirmed to date in China, 19 have been fatal. There have been 232 human deaths globally from the H5N1 strain and 366 confirmed cases of infection since 2003, according to WHO data.

(Reporting by Donny Kwok and Tan Ee Lyn; editing by Anne Marie Roantree)

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