Hong Kong sees first human bird flu case in 18 months
Hong Kong health authorities on Saturday urged the public not to panic after the southern Chinese city reported its first human case of bird flu in 18 months in a two-year-old boy.
Hong Kong officials said the Chinese boy was in serious condition after testing positive for the deadly H5N1 strain of avian influenza and the city had raised the bird flu alert level to "serious".
Hong Kong and Chinese health authorities said investigations revealed that the boy, who lives in the neighbouring Chinese province of Guangdong, had visited a local wet market and had contact with a live duck in mid-May.
He later developed a fever and runny nose and was taken for treatment at a Hong Kong private clinic on May 26.
"The boy's parents are all along asymptomatic, which means the chance of a human-to-human transmission is slim," a spokesman from the Hong Kong Centre for Health Protection said in a statement.
The spokesman said the boy was in intensive care while his parents were being quarantined at the same hospital.
A government spokeswoman confirmed it was the first human case of bird flu in Hong Kong since November 2010, which involved a 59-year-old woman.
China's state-run Xinhua news agency said Guangdong was on "high alert" but tests has so far found no signs of an outbreak.
Hong Kong is particularly nervous about infectious diseases after an outbreak of the deadly respiratory disease SARS in 2003 killed 300 people in the city.
The Asian financial hub was the site of the world's first major outbreak of bird flu among humans in 1997, when six people died from a mutated form of the virus, which is normally confined to poultry. Millions of birds were then culled.
The latest infection prompted Hong Kong Health Minister York Chow to convene an emergency meeting as he announced a series of preventive measures while reassuring the public that it was an "isolated" case.
"We feel that there is no need for panic among Hong Kong citizens," he told reporters.
Chow said there were no plans to ban live poultry imports for the time being, but inspection and disinfection would be stepped up at markets. Schools and various institutions have been asked to be on alert.
"We think it is an important measure to take particularly for Hong Kong, because we had experiences of outbreaks of avian influenza in Hong Kong," he said.
"For this particular case, so far the chance of it being spread to other humans is relatively low. But we still need to go through the whole process of analysing the origin and channel of the infection and have to study the virology of the virus."
The H5N1 strain has killed more than 350 people worldwide since 2003, according to WHO statistics, with the latest fatality reported on Monday involving a 10-year-old Cambodian girl.
Concerns about avian influenza have risen in the region with China, Vietnam and Indonesia all reporting deaths from the virus this year.
The virus typically spreads from birds to humans through direct contact, but experts fear it could mutate into a form easily transmissible between humans, with the potential to kill millions in a pandemic.
(c) 2012 AFP
- Hong Kong school closed in bird flu scare Dec 16, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Chinese man critical with bird flu Dec 30, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Hong Kong bird tests positive for H5N1 Mar 06, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- Hong Kong raises bird flu alert level, bans imports Dec 20, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Hong Kong culls chickens to battle bird flu Dec 21, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras
Apr 15, 2011 I'd like to open a discussion thread for version 2 of the draft of my book ''Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras'', available online at http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/0810.1019 , and for the...
- More from Physics Forums - Independent Research
More news stories
More than a decade ago, British parents refused to give measles shots to at least a million children because of a vaccine scare that raised the specter of autism. Now, health officials are scrambling to catch ...
Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes 51 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
Touted for safety, ease and patient convenience, peripherally inserted central catheters have become many clinicians' go-to for IV delivery of antibiotics, nutrition, chemotherapy, and other medications.
Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes 4 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Gourmands and foodies everywhere have long recognized ginger as a great way to add a little peppery zing to both sweet and savory dishes; now, a study from researchers at Columbia University shows purified components of the ...
Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes 16 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
There are significant cost and risk factors associated with two procedures commonly used to diagnose or treat gastrointestinal problems, according to research presented at Digestive Disease Week (DDW).
Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes May 19, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
Regular consumption of coffee is associated with a reduced risk of primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), an autoimmune liver disease, Mayo Clinic research shows. The findings were being presented at the Digestive Disease ...
Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes May 19, 2013 | not rated yet | 0 |
Melbourne researchers have identified an immune protein that has the potential to stop or reverse the development of type 1 diabetes in its early stages, before insulin-producing cells have been destroyed.
42 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0 |
(AP)—Former Navy Secretary Richard J. Danzig, who has served as a bio-warfare adviser to the president, the Pentagon, and the Department of Homeland Security, urged the government to stockpile an anti-anthrax drug while ...
2 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
Optimal treatment of sleep apnea in patients with prediabetes improves blood sugar (glucose) levels and thus can reduce cardiometabolic risk, according to a study to be presented at the ATS 2013 International Conference in ...
3 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Whole-cell pertussis vaccines were more effective at protecting against pertussis than acellular pertussis vaccines during a large recent outbreak, according to a new Kaiser Permanente study published in Pediatrics.
4 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
A novel study reports that white men and women of European descent inherit common foot disorders, such as bunions (hallux valgus) and lesser toe deformities, including hammer or claw toe. Findings from the Framingham Foot ...
4 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
(AP)—Sunbathers this summer will find new sunscreen labels that are designed to make the products more effective and easier to use.
2 hours ago | not rated yet | 0