04:22 GMT +320 February 2019
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    Chinese man dies of bird flu bringing national death toll to 17

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    MOSCOW, December 3 (RIA Novosti) - A man in China's eastern province of Jiangsu died from bird flu on Sunday, bringing the total number of deaths from the disease in China to 17, the Xinhua news agency reported.

    The agency cited local health authorities as saying that the 24-year-old man, surnamed Lu, was hospitalized on November 27 after developing a fever and other symptoms. An analysis conducted by a local disease control and prevention center indicated he was H5N1 positive.

    China, which is the world's leading producer of poultry, has reported 26 human cases of bird flu since 2003.

    The deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu has killed over 200 people since the first registered outbreak of the disease in Southeast Asia in 2003, according to the World Health Organization.

    Although cases of human-to-human transmission of the avian influenza have not been reported, scientists fear the virus could mutate into a strain that could pass easily from person to person, and as a result could cause a global pandemic.

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