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Taiwan on high alert against H5N1 avian flu

Taiwan on high alert against H5N1 avian flu

Taipei, Dec. 31 (CNA) Taiwan's Centers for Disease Control (CDC) notified related agencies on Saturday to stay on high alert for avian flu and prevent the disease from spreading to Taiwan after a man in southeastern China tested positive for the H5N1 flu strain a day earlier. The 39-year-old man, a bus driver n Guangdong Province, complained of a fever and having no energy on Dec. 21. He was checked into a hospital and transferred to intensive care four days later with severe pneumonia, according to Chinese media. The man later tested positive for H5N1, the most lethal strain of avian influenza. An initial investigation found that the patient had not come in close contact with any birds but may have touched bird droppings, the report said. The CDC said it directed the Coast Guard Administration and the Council of Agriculture to screen for fever at all of Taiwan's ports of entry. It also called on Taiwanese businesspeople in Guangdong or people planning to travel there to practice good personal hygiene and avoid contact with birds. (By Chen Ching-fang and Jamie Wang)