China: clean bill of health to dozens who came in contact with human bird flu cases

Dozens of Chinese farmers and villagers who came in contact with two people sickened by bird flu show no signs of the illness and have been released from medical observation, the official Xinhua News Agency said Friday.

The human cases a woman who died and a boy who recovered were confirmed on Wednesday.

In the eastern province of Anhui, 22 farmers who had close contact with the 24-year-old woman "were all OK," Wu Fuqing, an Anhui official, was quoted as saying by Xinhua.

In Hunan province in central China, "no abnormal signs" were detected in 152 villagers who came in contact with the 9-year-old boy or his 12-year-old sister, who died of the same symptoms, Xinhua said. She is considered a suspected case because her body was cremated and there weren't adequate samples for testing.

Additionally, 908 fever cases are in recovery, said Ai Ronggui, deputy director of the health bureau in Xiangtan, the county where the outbreak occurred.

Xinhua did not describe the type of medical observation the people were under.

China has reported 13 outbreaks of bird flu in poultry since Oct. 19. Experts had warned that human cases were inevitable if the government could not stop repeated outbreaks of the disease among birdsreported AP. P.T.

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