H7N9 avian flu

H7N9 avian flu

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.  

Beijing H7N9 bird flu victim leaves hospital

A girl who was tested positive for the H7N9 avian influenza virus holds a certificate awarded by the hospital to praise her performance during the treatment while attending a press briefing before leaving the Beijing Ditan Hospital in Beijing, on Wednesday. Photo: Xinhua

A seven-year-old girl who contracted the H7N9 strain of bird flu left hospital on Wednesday and appeared before media in an apparent bid by health authorities to cool concerns about the deadly virus.

Wednesday, 17 April, 2013, 7:14pm

Death toll hits 16 in China bird flu outbreak

Commuters protect themselves against bird flu in Shanghai. Photo: AFP

H7N9 bird flu has claimed two more lives in Shanghai, Chinese state media said, bringing the death toll from the disease to 16. China has confirmed 77 human cases of H7N9 avian influenza since announcing two weeks ago that it had found the strain in people for the first time.

17 Apr 2013 - 10:39am

Bird fanciers in Yangtze River Delta defy virus warnings

Bird cages at a teahouse on the Wushan Mountain, in Hangzhou, where local people like to walk their birds. Photo: Simon Song

Every day at dawn, bird lovers can still be seen taking their caged pets for walks in parks and lakeside areas across the Yangtze River Delta, despite the area being ground zero for the most recent avian flu outbreak.

17 Apr 2013 - 4:58am

Fast bird-flu test may not go far enough, says expert

Fast bird-flu test may not go far enough, says expert

The government's quick test for the H7N9 flu virus in imported poultry at the border may not be enough to stop infected birds entering the city, a University of Hong Kong microbiologist says.

17 Apr 2013 - 4:28am

Do we have to wait until the bird flu virus arrives?

Dr Ko Wing-man. Photo: Edward Wong

What's with this obsession about eating fresh chicken? The obsession is such that Health Secretary Dr Ko Wing-man daren't shut down wet markets with live chickens for fear that consumers and traders will go after his scalp. Mainlanders are dying from bird flu, for goodness sake. But Ko says we get our poultry from southern China, which has so far escaped the latest killer flu.

17 Apr 2013 - 3:55am 2 comments

Online pictures of dead birds spur China flu openness

Dead sparrows lie on the ground in a residential area in Nanjing, east China's Jiangsu province. Photo: AFP

Photos of 10 dead sparrows on a Chinese pavement that went viral on social media and drew a swift official response show how hard covering up a bird flu outbreak would be in the internet age.

16 Apr 2013 - 3:52pm

Hong Kong expert warns new bird flu virus could become a pandemic

A girl recovering after being infected with H7N9 waves as she is transferred to a public ward at Beijing's Ditan Hospital. Photo: Reuters

The deadly new bird flu may pose a bigger threat to humans than the H5N1 bird virus that has killed hundreds of people worldwide, a University of Hong Kong microbiologist warned yesterday.

Ho Pak-leung became the first expert to publicly express fears it could become a pandemic.

The H7N9 strain emerged in humans only last month and is so far contained to the mainland.

16 Apr 2013 - 4:47am 1 comment

Letters to the Editor, April 16, 2013

Protest in Taipei against a new nuclear plant. Photo: AP

I am saddened that not one of the pan-democratic political parties of Hong Kong, nor any one of our pro-democracy leaders and personalities, have, apparently, commented on the recent Court of Final Appeal ruling regarding right of abode for foreign domestic helpers.

16 Apr 2013 - 3:27am 5 comments

Talking points

Defence ministry publishes white paper

Defence ministry publishes white paper

16 Apr 2013 - 3:27am

Echoes of Sars in bird flu panic

Echoes of Sars in bird flu panic

Families of H7N9 patients, having seen the response to the deadly new virus up close, say authorities are falling down on prevention, isolation.

16 Apr 2013 - 4:53am

China media urge eating poultry despite bird flu

Poultry is displayed at a market stall in Hefei, in central China's Anhui province. Photo: AFP

China’s poultry industry lost 10 billion yuan (US$1.6 billion) in the week after the H7N9 bird flu virus began infecting humans, state-run media said on Monday as they sought to discourage panic.

Altogether 60 people have been confirmed as infected and 13 have died in the two weeks since Chinese authorities said they found the strain in humans for the first time.

29 Aug 2013 - 4:13am

Bird flu, Korea tensions cast shadow over spring session of Canton Trade Fair

The Canton Fair is a major trade barometer. Photo: Denise Tsang

Growing uncertainty over the H7N9 bird flu outbreak and regional instability over the Korean Peninsula have put a dampener on prospects for the spring session of China's oldest and largest trade fair, which opens in Guangzhou today.

15 Apr 2013 - 3:28am

Leave research to medical schools, says vet chief

Wong Yuk-shan believes that it should be left to the government to consider whether it is worth building a school for vets. Photo: Dickson Lee

A new veterinary school would not be able to do much to control the transmission of animal diseases to humans, the outgoing chairman of the Veterinary Surgeons Board said.

15 Apr 2013 - 2:53am

H7N9 spreads in China in 'sporadic, unconnected way'

Nurses collect blood samples at a fever clinic at Beijing's Ditan Hospital, where a girl is being treated for H7N9. Photo: AP

The deadly new strain of bird flu has spread further on the mainland, with two people in Henan province confirmed yesterday as infected with H7N9, the first cases in the region.

15 Apr 2013 - 7:01am 1 comment

Hong Kong should reconsider ban on live poultry stalls

A vendor weighs a live chicken at the Kowloon City Market. Photo: Bloomberg

It was not long ago that banning the sale of live poultry in our markets and moving to a system of central slaughtering was seen as necessary to protect us from deadly infectious diseases. The government finally decided that reduced risk made the idea politically expendable and shelved it. Then-health minister York Chow Yat-ngok said at the time that the decision was not necessarily permanent, as the virus itself and the risk could change.

14 Apr 2013 - 2:15am 1 comment