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Man dies of suspected bird flu in Guangzhou
Updated: 2006-03-04 10:24

A man has died of suspected H5N1 avian influenza in southern China, just over the border from Hong Kong, a local newspaper said on Saturday.

The 32-year-old man frequently visited wet markets where chickens were often slaughtered, the South China Morning Post said.

He developed fever and pneumonia on February 22 and died on March 2, Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection (CHP) said in a statement late on Friday.

Hong Kong lies less than two hours away from Guangzhou by train and the flow of travellers between the two cities is heavy.

The risk of avian influenza appearing in the city was increasing, CHP head Leung Pak-yin was quoted as saying. "We expect there could be human cases in Hong Kong and we all need to be well prepared for that."

If Beijing confirms the case as avian influenza, Hong Kong public hospitals and clinics will be required to report any flu cases with unclear diagnoses to the CHP, the Post said.  

Although Hong Kong has been free of human avian influenza cases since early 2003, the city continues to screen the temperatures of people entering the city at immigration, the CHP said.

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