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Fifth Human Bird Flu Patient Receives 1st Checkup

China's fifth patient contracted with human bird flu, a woman surnamed Liu from the northeastern Liaoning Province, was back at hospital Saturday for a thorough health checkup.

This is her first checkup after Liu was discharged from hospital on November 29.

The No.1 Hospital affiliated to the China Medical University in the provincial capital Shenyang conducted a CT (computerized tomography) test and collected Liu's blood samples for a comprehensive test of her immune system, including a chlamydial antibody test.

The results of the tests will be available on Monday, so Liu said she will spend the weekends in Shenyang.

Liu, wearing a red down-padded coat, was accompanied by her husband Guo Jiujun, three-year-old daughter and Wang Dong, a local government official from her hometown in Heishan County.

"She couldn't have recovered without the timely and effective treatment," said Guo, who repeatedly thanked the doctors and nurses.

Liu, 31, was a chicken farmer in Fangshan Town in Heishan County, which was hit by the H5N1 strain of highly pathogenic bird flu on November 3. The town was declared free from the epidemic on December 1.

Liu got feverish on October 30 with 38 degrees Celsius of body temperature. Then her condition worsened on November 3, with more flu-like symptoms including coughs and shortness of breath. She suffered from respiratory exhaustion on November 7, about one week after falling sick.

With prompt, successful treatment, Liu was discharged as healthy from hospital on November 29, after no flu symptoms had been detected for 14 consecutive days.

Back home, the village doctor took her temperature twice a day, each time normal.

"We feel her immunity has enhanced and a relapse of the disease is unlikely," said Prof. Wang Qiuyue of the hospital's respiratory diseases department.

Liu, who had been much sought after by the media over the past month, told Xinhua in an exclusive interview Friday she felt well, and just wanted to "live simply and undisturbed".

(Xinhua News Agency December 10, 2005)

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