H7N9 avian flu

Hong Kong boy, 10, tests positive for H7N9 avian flu virus after visit to mainland China

Pupil admitted to hospital and isolated had visited a relative’s home in Guangdong province where live chickens were kept

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 11 January, 2017, 10:29am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 11 January, 2017, 9:03pm

A 10-year-old Hong Kong boy has tested positive for H7N9 bird flu, making him the fourth such case in the city this winter, according to the Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health.

Twenty-seven close contacts, who all remained asymptomatic, have been identified and will be given Tamiflu for five days.

The government has also identified 70 other contacts, with four experiencing mild symptoms. The four are healthcare employees of Princess Margaret Hospital, where the boy was sent to on Monday.

The 10-year-old pupil at Salvation Army Lam Butt Chung Memorial School in Tung Chung previously had a good health record, but he developed a fever and cough and was vomiting on Sunday, the Centre for Health Protection said.

He went to the emergency department at North Lantau Hospital before being admitted to Princess Margaret Hospital the next day.

Following his admission, his condition remained stable, and on Tuesday afternoon he was discharged. However, that evening he was re-admitted and isolated.

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A preliminary test showed he was positive for influenza A virus subtype H7.

The centre’s inquiries revealed the boy and his family had travelled to Foshan, Guangdong province, between December 31 and January 3, during which he had visited a relative’s home where a few live chickens were kept. But he denied having any direct contact with the birds.

The family had also visited a market but said they did not go into its poultry section.

He went to school on Friday but has not returned since he fell sick.

The case was reported to Guangdong and Macau health authorities

If he is confirmed to have contracted H7N9 on the mainland, his would be the fourth imported case in Hong Kong this winter. The first imported case was reported on December 19.

The infection, which has typically stricken elderly people in the city, has claimed two lives. All three previous cases involved visits to the mainland.