Hong Kong reports sixth H7N9 bird flu case

March 4, 2014

Hong Kong confirmed Tuesday a new human case of the deadly H7N9 avian flu found in an 18-month-old girl, the sixth case to be discovered in the city.

Fears over have grown following the deaths of three men from the H7N9 strain in Hong Kong since December last year, all of whom had recently returned from mainland China.

The child, who had also recently visited the mainland, was hospitalised on February 28 after developing a fever and was treated in an isolation ward, the city's health department said in a statement.

She was sent home "in a stable condition" on Monday but routine laboratory test results later showed positive for the virus, the statement said.

The girl is now in isolation in another hospital undergoing tests, but has no fever or symptoms.

She had travelled to the neighbouring Chinese province of Guangdong for three weeks in February, the health department said, where her mother had taken her to a wet market—though they did not buy poultry.

Family members and patients from the first hospital that admitted the child will be taken in for testing and observation, the statement said.

Others who may have had contact with the girl will be "put under medical surveillance", it added.

A total of 31 people died from H7N9 in mainland China in January, the government said, making it by far the worst month of the outbreak. There were a total of 127 confirmed human H7N9 cases that month, according to the National Health and Family Planning Commission.

The outbreak, which first emerged on the mainland in February 2013, has reignited fears that a could mutate to become easily transmissible between people, threatening to trigger a pandemic.

Hong Kong slaughtered 20,000 chickens in January after the virus was found in poultry imported from Guangdong.

Officials said last month that they were extending for four months a ban on live poultry imports from mainland China to guard against the disease.

Hong Kong is particularly alert to the spread of viruses after an outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) swept through the city in 2003, killing 299 people and infecting around 1,800.

Related Stories

Hong Kong reports first H7N9 death

December 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 second H7N9 death

January 13, 2014

A Hong Kong man infected with the deadly H7N9 bird flu died late Monday, less than a week after he was confirmed to be infected with the deadly virus, authorities said.

Hong Kong reports third H7N9 death (Update)

January 29, 2014

Hong Kong Wednesday reported its third death from H7N9 bird flu—an elderly man who had visited mainland China—a day after authorities culled 22,000 birds to curb the disease.

Recommended for you

Experimental MERS vaccine shows promise in animal studies

July 28, 2015

A two-step regimen of experimental vaccines against Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) prompted immune responses in mice and rhesus macaques, report National Institutes of Health scientists who designed the vaccines. ...

Can social isolation fuel epidemics?

July 21, 2015

Conventional wisdom has it that the more people stay within their own social groups and avoid others, the less likely it is small disease outbreaks turn into full-blown epidemics. But the conventional wisdom is wrong, according ...

Lack of knowledge on animal disease leaves humans at risk

July 20, 2015

Researchers from the University of Sydney have painted the most detailed picture to date of major infectious diseases shared between wildlife and livestock, and found a huge gap in knowledge about diseases which could spread ...

IBD genetically similar in Europeans and non-Europeans

July 20, 2015

The first genetic study of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) to include individuals from diverse populations has shown that the regions of the genome underlying the disease are consistent around the world. This study, conducted ...

0 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.