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China bird flu victim dies in Shenzhen city

A man who had been diagnosed with China's first case of bird flu in more than a year has died in the southern city of Shenzhen, health officials say. The 39-year-old bus driver was admitted to hospital with pneumonia but tested positive for the bird flu virus.

The H5N1 bird flu strain has a high level of mortality, killing up to 60% of humans infected with it. Positive tests on a dead market chicken last week prompted nearby Hong Kong's government to issue an alert. Hong Kong authorities culled 17,000 chickens after three birds were found to have died from the H5N1 bird flu strain.

It also banned imports and the sale of live chickens for three weeks after the infected chicken carcass was found at a wholesale market. But it was not clear whether the chicken came from a local farm or was imported.

The Shenzhen victim had not been in contact with poultry, nor travelled recently, China's Ministry of Health told Hong Kong health authorities. In November 2010, a 59-year-old woman was isolated in Hong Kong with bird flu but survived.

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