New research unveiled Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine says a 24-year-old man may have died of a virulent form of bird flu, and not SARS as originally thought and reported. The research letter by eight Chinese scientists raises new questions about the spread of the disease and the Chinese government's openness in dealing with it. Raising even more questions is a stream of e-mails, sent to the journal by one of the writers of the letter, seeking unsuccesfully to withdraw it. China has said it discovered its first bird flue case late in 2005. If the letter is right, it would change the first known Chinese case of the disease to 2003.
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