WHO Receives Confirmation of Bird Flu Death in Beijing

2009-01-06 20:50 1931

BEIJING, Jan. 6 /PRNewswire-Asia/ -- China’s Ministry of Health today informed the World Health Organization (WHO) of a death in Beijing, China due to the H5N1 strain of avian influenza. WHO expects the ministry will continue to keep it updated on this case, and is prepared to offer technical assistance if requested.

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We are concerned by any case of human H5N1 infection, however, this single case, which appears to have occurred during the slaughtering and preparation of poultry, does not change our risk assessment. We remain at Pandemic Phase 3.

Since its reemergence in 2003, the H5N1 strain of avian influenza has been identified in 392 cases worldwide, of which 248 resulted in death (these numbers include the death announced today). Of these, China had a total of 31 cases and 21 deaths. In 2008, there were 3 identified cases and 3 deaths, the last one being in February of that year.

Source: World Health Organization (WHO)