November 4, 2014


Hong Kong alerted as new bird flu case is reported in China



Hong Kong health authorities have issued a public alert after a 58-year-old woman in China's Jiangsu province was reported to have contracted avian flu.


The Hong Kong Department of Health said on Monday it was monitoring "an additional human case of avian influenza A((H7N9)" reported by the Jiangsu Provincial Commission of Health and Family Planning. Avian influenza A(H7N9) is a subtype of influenza viruses that have been detected in birds.


According to the World Health Organisation, this virus was first detected in China in March last year. Since then, infections in both humans and birds have been observed. In mainland China a total of 441 human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) have so far been recorded.


The Jiangsu health agency said that before she got sick, the woman had bought a live chicken at a local market and slaughtered it. The woman, who remained unidentified, was reported to be in critical condition in a hospital.


The Hong Kong health department advised the public in the light of the new bird flu case to be on alert and practice good hygiene during their travel.


The virus is said to be not transmitted easily from person to person, but an infected person usually becomes severely ill.