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Cablegate: Beijing Confirms Second Avian Influenza Fatality in 2008

VZCZCXRO4618
RR RUEHHM RUEHLN RUEHMA RUEHPB RUEHPOD
DE RUEHBJ #0657 0531033
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 221033Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5289
INFO RUEHCN/AMCONSUL CHENGDU 8981
RUEHGZ/AMCONSUL GUANGZHOU 3859
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 0015
RUEHGH/AMCONSUL SHANGHAI 8900
RUEHSH/AMCONSUL SHENYANG 8643
RUEHBK/AMEMBASSY BANGKOK 5849
RUEHRC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE WASHDC
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHINGTON DC
RUEAUSA/DEPT OF HHS WASHINGTON DC
RUEHC/DEPT OF INTERIOR WASHDC 0712
RUEHPH/CDC ATLANTA GA
RUEHZN/ENVIRONMENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS BEIJING 000657

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

BANGKOK FOR REO AND CDC
HHS FOR OGHA - STEIGER, HICKEY
CDC ATLANTA FOR CCID AND COGH

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: TBIO KFLU EAGR CH
SUBJECT: BEIJING CONFIRMS SECOND AVIAN INFLUENZA FATALITY IN 2008

REF A) BEIJING 585, B) 07 BEIJING 7567

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: The Ministry of Health (MOH) has confirmed the
second avian influenza death in China in 2008. The case, an
unemployed 41 year-old male, died on Feb. 20 in Guangxi Province.
Although the MOH report indicated that the patient had been in
contact with infected poultry before contracting the disease, the
Chinese authorities have not reported any new avian outbreaks of
influenza in the Guangxi area. END SUMMARY.

2. (SBU) On Feb. 22, the Ministry of Health transmitted a fax to
the Embassy to report an avian influenza (H5N1) case in Guangxi
Province. The case, an unemployed 41 year-old male from Nanning,
the capital of Guangxi, was hospitalized on Feb. 12 and died on Feb.
20. After tests confirmed that the patient had died of avian
influenza, a local investigation revealed that he had recently been
in contact with sick poultry. On Feb. 21, laboratories of the China
Center for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the earlier
diagnosis and determined that the patient died of highly pathogenic
avian influenza. Recent contacts of the patient have been placed
under strict medical observation. To date, none have exhibited
symptoms of the disease.

3. (SBU) Although the local authorities indicated that the patient
had recent contact with infected poultry, the Chinese Government has
not reported any new avian cases in the Guangxi area. The last
reported outbreak among poultry was in Tibet on Feb. 17 (see ref B).
China has reported 29 cases of human avian influenza infection
since 2003, with 19 deaths.

RANDT

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