A 39-year-old man in southern China died from the avian flu on New Year’s Eve.
The man was hospitalized on December 21 as he battled a fever and later tested positive for the H5N1 avian influenza virus. He had not traveled out of the city of Shenzhen, which borders Hong Kong.
Scientists have now confirmed the strain can not pass between humans, and that the man had contacted H5N1 directly from a contaminated chicken. This was the first confirmed human case in over 18 months.
This summer the United Nations warned of a possible resurgence of the virus, a variant strain of H5N1 that can bypass the defenses of current vaccines.
The UN says the new strain currently threatens China, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Japan and the Korean peninsula.