Chinese woman dies from H5N6 strain of bird flu

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BEIJING (Reuters) - A woman in China's Sichuan province died from the H5N6 strain of avian influenza last month, a regional health bureau said this week, in the latest human fatality from the lethal disease.

The 54-year-old woman from Zigong city developed symptoms on Nov. 17 and was admitted to hospital on Nov. 21. She died on Nov. 23, according to a Wednesday statement on the website of the health bureau of semi-autonomous region Macau.

She had been exposed to dead poultry before the onset of illness, it added.

The number of people in China infected with H5N6 bird flu this year has jumped, raising concern among experts, who say a previously circulating strain appears to have changed and may be more infectious to people.

Of 26 infections reported by various government departments this year, most have been in Sichuan province, though cases have also been reported in neighbouring Chongqing and Guangxi, as well as Guangdong, Anhui and Hunan provinces.

(Reporting by Dominique Patton; Editing by Sam Holmes)