Reported Bird Flu Casualty in China

China reported Monday the second bird flu-related death within one month, raising concerns that the highly contagious disease could be spreading in the southern part of the country.

A 39-year-old man died on Sunday of the virulent H5N1 avian influenza virus, the Health Department of the southwestern province of Guizhou said in a statement.

He had been suffering from a fever since Jan. 6 and had been under intensive treatment in the Attached Hospital of Guiyang Medical College in Guiyang, Guizhou.

The Health Department said that 71 people had close contact with the victim, but they have not developed abnormal symptoms.

The death follows the recent case of a 39-year-old bus driver in Shenzhen, a city in Guangdong Province near Hong Kong, who died on Dec. 31 of the bird flu.

Bird flu is usually passed from sick birds to humans and has the potential to be fatal.

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