Bird flu puts Hongkonger, 76, in critical condition
Patient, city’s fifth imported case this winter, had visited wet market in Fuzhou
A 76-year-old Hongkonger is fighting for his life after being infected with bird flu H7N9 in another imported case of the potentially deadly disease.
The Centre for Health Protection’s investigation showed the man had travelled alone to Fuzhou, in Fujian province, between February 11 and March 1, during which he visited a wet market, the major cause for most of the imported cases in the city.
The patient, who had underlying illnesses, developed a fever and cough with sputum on March 3 and sought medical attention at a private clinic the next day.
He attended the emergency unit at Yan Chai Hospital on March 5 and was admitted but was later transferred to Princess Margaret Hospital for isolation and further treatment.
Nasal swabs tested positive for influenza A(H7N9) virus on Tuesday night. The clinical diagnosis was pneumonia, and his condition was stated as critical.
The patient’s close contacts remained asymptomatic, and he was put under medical surveillance. A tracing of his other contacts in Hong Kong is underway.
This is the fifth imported human case of H7N9 recorded in the city this winter, including two fatal ones. All of them involved visits to the mainland.
The case was reported to the mainland and Macau health authorities as well as the World Health Organisation.
The number of human cases reported on mainland has increased substantially with more than 480 cases recorded since last October, according to the Centre for Health Protection. The number of cases in this wave was much higher than that for the same period last winter season.