Intended for healthcare professionals


Chinese man died three years ago of avian flu, not SARS

BMJ 2006; 333 doi: (Published 29 June 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:7
  1. Jane Parry
  1. Hong Kong

    Chinese scientists have said that a man who died of suspected severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in November 2003 in fact died of the H5N1 strain of avian flu. The information came to light in a letter published on 22 June in the New England Journal of Medicine (2006;354: 2731-2).

    Embedded Image

    A Chinese child passes a chicken market in Nan Jiang this month

    Credit: EMPICS

    The letter is the first documented evidence that H5N1 bird flu was circulating in China long before the authorities there confirmed the first human case in the country in 2005. Furthermore, the case it describes precedes the fatal cases of H5N1 bird flu in humans in Vietnam and Thailand. The information in the letter is …

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