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March 27, 2006

The increasingly mysterious death of Ms. Li

Via Interfax China: No evidence that bird flu death woman in Shanghai had contact with poultry.

No evidence has been found suggesting that a migrant worker who died in Shanghai from bird flu on March 21 had any direct contact with poultry, city authorities told Interfax today.

The Ministry of Health confirmed on March 24 that bird flu caused the death of the 29-year-old woman. Shanghai municipal Department of Health had initially said she developed symptoms of "coughing and fever" and died of unexplained pneumonia.

Director of the information office at Shanghai municipal Department of Health said there was insufficient evidence to prove the woman had direct contact with poultry, and that the cause of her infection remains under investigation.

"No abnormal condition has been found among the people who had close contact with the woman," he added.

The health administration in Shanghai says it has taken appropriate measures according to the city's bird flu response plan and people who have had close contact with the woman have been put under clinical observation in isolation.
The death toll of bird flu human infections in China now stands at 11, and the number to have contracted the infection 15.

Dai Ping from the Shanghai Agricultural Commission said there was no bird flu epidemic among poultry in the municipality.

ence of evidence is not evidence of absence. This poor young woman may well have had some unnoticed contact with poultry.

But if I were the senior health official in Shanghai, I would be in earnest conversation with the local chief of the Public Security Bureau, asking him to put his best people on tracking Ms. Li through the last two or three weeks of her life.

Posted by dymaxion at March 27, 2006 03:58 PM

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