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China Reports Death Of Woman From Two Combined Strains Of Bird Flu

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China has recently reported the death of a 63-year-old woman from East China's Anhui province due to a mixed infection of H3N2 and H10N5 flu strains, but the case is rare and the risk of human-to-human transmission is low, according to health authorities. The woman, a resident of Xuancheng, Anhui, had multiple underlying diseases. She exhibited coughing, a sore throat, and a fever on Nov 30 and was admitted to a local hospital on Dec 2, according to a statement released by the National Disease Control and Prevention Administration on Tuesday. On Dec 7, she was transferred to a hospital in neighboring Zhejiang province, where she died on Dec 16.

China's National Disease Control and Prevention Administration revealed that screenings of her close contacts yielded negative results, and no suspected cases were found.

Whole genome sequence analyses of the virus showed that the H10N5 virus is of avian origin and could not effectively infect humans, the agency said.

“The outbreak is an episodic cross-species transmission from bird to humans,” it said.

"The case is an incidental cross-species transmission from poultry to humans. The risk of the virus spreading to humans is low, and no human-to-human transmission has occurred."

The administration therefore advised people to avoid direct contact with live poultry and distance themselves from sick or dead poultry.

China has a large population of both farmed and wild birds of many species, providing an ideal environment for avian viruses to mix and mutate.