WHO Seeks Information From China on Possible 2003 Bird Flu Case – VOA news

From the VOA news:

The World Health Organization has asked China for more information following a report that a man may have died of bird flu two years earlier than Chinese officials reported the presence of the flu virus in their country.

News of the case appeared in a letter published this week in an American medical magazine, the New England Journal of Medicine. In the letter, a group of Chinese scientists said a 24-year-old Chinese man who died of pneumonia-like symptoms in 2003 might have died as a result of the H5N1 virus.

In their letter, the Chinese scientists say the tests of the dead man’s tissue turned up positive for the bird flu virus.

At the time of his death, the man was counted among the victims of the then-prevalent SARS epidemic. For international health experts, the report this week raises the question of whether H5N1 was present in China before last year, when Chinese officials reported it for the first time. [Full text]

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