Chinese Toddler With H5N1 in Critical Condition

Taiyuan — A two-year-old girl has been confirmed to be infected with bird flu in north China’s Shanxi Province, a provincial government official said Saturday.

   The girl, surnamed Peng, was found ill on January 7 in the central Hunan Province. Her grandparents took her to Luliang City of Shanxi on January 11. She was taken to the Fenyang Hospital on Wednesday and then to the Shanxi Children’s Hospital on Wednesday night after she got worse, said an official with the Shanxi provincial health department.

  The patient was in critical condition, the official said.

  According to the test result of Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the girl tested positive for the H5N1 strain of avian influenza.

  Health authorities earlier this month said a woman infected with bird flu had died in Beijing after buying ducks at a market in Hebei province, which surrounds the Chinese capital, sparking emergency checks of local poultry markets.

  Experts said the case was not unexpected as the virus is more active during the cooler months between October and March.

  China’s Agriculture Ministry last week said it had found no bird flu cases among poultry in Beijing or other areas surrounding the city during checks after the woman’s death.

  Since the H5N1 virus resurfaced in Asia in 2003, it has infected 391 people, killing 247 of them, according to WHO figures released in mid-December.

  The toddler’s infection brings China’s total to 32 human bird flu cases, of which at least 21 people have died.


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