China roast duck vendor dies of H7N9 bird flu: Xinhua

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A roast duck vendor has died of bird flu in central China, the official Xinhua news agency said Saturday, the latest human casualty of the disease this winter.

The 36-year-old man, surnamed Zhang, passed away on January 11 in Yongcheng city of the central province of Henan, Xinhua cited the provincial health and family planning commission as saying.

He sold roast duck in the coastal province of Zhejiang before falling ill with fever and coughing just after Christmas, eventually returning to his hometown in early January.

Yongcheng city is monitoring the health of 16 people who have had close contact with Zhang.

The bird flu strain H7N9 strikes most commonly in winter and spring.

On Saturday, the neighbouring central province of Hubei reported its first bird flu case of 2017, Xinhua added, stating that a 38-year-old man had contracted the disease while visiting a poultry market and was now in critical condition.

About a dozen cases of the disease have been reported since the new year across seven Chinese provinces and regions, as well as Macao, the agency said.

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