The influenza A(H7N9) virus is one subgroup among the larger group of H7 viruses that normally circulate among birds. A number of human infections of the H7N9 virus have been reported in eastern China, mostly in the Yangtze River Delta region since late March 2013. Some of the patients have died of severe pneumonia brought on by the virus.
Three-year-old boy diagnosed with bird flu as H7N9 returns to Guangdong
Guangdong health authorities have announced that a three-year-old boy living in Dongguan was diagnosed as infected with H7N9, the potentially deadly bird flu virus. The boy is the third confirmed case of infection in as many weeks in China.
The provincial Centre for Disease Control and Prevention said the boy, a native of Suining, Sichuan Province, was diagnosed on Tuesday. Dongguan is just an hour's drive north of Hong Kong.
The boy has been hospitalised at Dongguan’s People’s Hospital, and was in stable condition, it added.
He is the third H7N9 case reported in China so far this autumn, following two cases in coastal Zhejiang province.
As of last week, a total of 136 human infections have been confirmed on the mainland since February. Of these, 45 have died.
According to a new regulation passed by the Ministry of Health last week, doctors have to report new cases of H7N9 within two hours after detecting the virus.
In an article in the medial journal Lancet published last week, Hong Kong and mainland researchers suggested a complete closure of live poultry markets to eliminate the the risk of human infection from H7N9, should the deadly bird flu strain spread again in the cold winter months.