By Michael Evans
A 31 year old man died Friday after having contracted H5N1 bird flu earlier this month, according to authorities in Guizhou. The website of the province’s health department said the man, who developed symptoms of the virus February 3, died of multiple organ failure.
This is the second bird flu death in Guizhou in less than two weeks, coming after a 21 year old woman died February 13. Health officials have found no connection between the two cases, and the two are reported to have come into close contact with birds.
Experts have long feared that the H5N1 virus could mutate into a strain transmissible between humans, as opposed to the current form which can only be contracted directly from birds. However there seems to be little risk that the virus has spread beyond the two cases in Guizhou, as Xinhua reports that over a hundred people who had been in contact with the patients have been released from quarantine after showing no symptoms of bird flu.