Emergencies preparedness, response

Avian influenza – situation in China - update

19 January 2006

The Ministry of Health in China has confirmed an additional case of human infection with the H5N1 avian influenza virus. The case occurred in a 35-year-old woman, from the south-central province of Sichuan, who had been employed as a poultry culler. She developed symptoms on 3 January, was hospitalized on 10 January with symptoms of fever and pneumonia, and died on 11 January.

Further investigation is under way to determine whether the woman may have acquired her infection during culling operations or as a result of direct exposure to infected birds in her village. She lived in a compound where eight families were housed in close quarters. Members of these families and other close contacts have been placed under medical observation. No signs of influenza-like illness have been reported to date.

The newly confirmed case is the ninth in China. Of these cases, 6 have been fatal. The cases have occurred in 7 provinces and regions: Anhui, Guangxi, Liaoning, Jiangxi, Fujian, Hunan, and Sichuan.