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Chinese man dies of H5N1 bird flu

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China

A man in China's eastern province of Jiangsu has died from the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu, state media says.

China's Xinhua news agency said the man, named only as Mr Lu, died after being admitted to hospital on 27 November with severe chills and fever.

It said he had no known contact with dead poultry, and no outbreaks of bird flu were reported nearby.

A total of 17 people have died in China from the H5N1 virus and millions of birds have been culled.

As a precaution, 69 people with close contacts to Mr Lu were put under medical observation, Xinhua said.

Since the H5N1 virus emerged in South East Asia in late 2003, it has claimed some 200 lives around the world. Indonesia has been hardest hit, with more than 90 deaths.

Scientists fear the virus could mutate to a form which could be easily passed from human to human, triggering a pandemic and potentially putting millions of lives at risk.

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