Bird flu subtype re-emerges in Hong Kong

An elderly man has contracted a mild form of bird flu in the first case of its type for four years, Hong Kong officials said on Monday.

"We are now investigating a confirmed human case of influenza A H9N2, affecting a man aged 86," Leung Ting-hung, controller of the city's Centre for Health Protection, told reporters.

H9N2 is an avian flu subtype that mainly affects ducks and chickens but can also pass to humans, causing mild symptoms. Under Hong Kong law cases of such infection must be made public, according to Leung.

Since 1999 Hong Kong has reported seven such cases with the last one reported in 2009, Leung said.

The man, who lives in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen bordering Hong Kong, was diagnosed with the disease after returning to Hong Kong on Saturday.

He is now in stable condition in an isolation ward.

"As the temperature is cooler in recent weeks, we expect there may be other cases of being detected," Leung said.

On Thursday the city reported the first death from the more serious H7N9 strain of .

The male victim had returned from Shenzhen, as had a woman who contracted Hong Kong's first reported case of H7N9. She is still in hospital in stable condition.

Scientists have warned that could potentially cause a pandemic if it mutates into a form easily transmissible between humans.

Related Stories

Hong Kong reports first H7N9 death

date Dec 26, 2013

A Hong Kong man infected with the H7N9 strain of bird flu died on Thursday, the first such death in the city since the virus emerged there this month.

Hong Kong reports 2nd H7N9 bird flu case

date Dec 07, 2013

Hong Kong reported its second human case of H7N9 bird flu just days after the first, raising fears that the virus is spreading beyond mainland China.

Recommended for you

Time to move Lyme Disease Awareness Month to April?

date 3 hours ago

The month of May brings many things, among them Mother's Day, tulips, and Lyme Disease Awareness campaigns. But according to Dr. Richard S. Ostfeld, a disease ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem ...

An explanation of wild birds' role in avian flu outbreak

date 4 hours ago

Wild birds are believed to be behind the first major widespread outbreak of bird flu in the United States. The H5N2 virus has cost Midwestern turkey and chicken producers almost 13 million birds since early March, including ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.