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Human H5N1 Bird Flu Confirmed Again in Sichuan China

Recombinomics Commentary
April 27, 2006

An eight-year-old Chinese girl has been infected with the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu, China's Xinhua news agency reported on Thursday, bringing the total number of confirmed such cases in the country to 18.
The girl, from southeast China's Sichuan province, is being treated in a local hospital, Xinhua said, citing the country's Ministry of Health.

The confirmation of another H5N1 case in Sichuan province in China raises additional concern about the spread of the H5N1 Fujian strain.  China has released the HA sequence of three isolates from human cases.  All three isolates are related to A/DK/Fujian/1734/05. A China Ministry of Health report described three additional isolates, A/Jiangxi/1/2005(H5N1), A/Hunan/1/2005(H5N1), and A/Sichuan/1/2006(H5N1) which were also closely related to the Fujian strain.  The new human H5N1 case in Sichuan Province suggests that the same Fujian strain may have been involved.  Since the strain has now also been reported in Laos and Malaysia, concerns are raised regarding additional unreported human cases in China and southeast Asia.

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