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. 

H7N9 harder to track but less likely to cause disease

While the spread of H5N1 has been halted by culls of chickens, this will not work with the H7N9 virus, as it is not known to have caused widespread deaths among birds or other animals, says Professor Yuen Kwok-yung, a microbiologist at the University of Hong Kong.

Thursday, 4 April, 2013, 10:27am 1 comment

HKU checking that masks 70pc effective

An earlier study found masks are a good virus barrier

The University of Hong Kong is retesting one of its earlier studies on the effectiveness of surgical masks that found they can reduce the spread of viruses by more than 70 per cent. The original study involved HKU, the University of Maryland and Harvard School of Public Health, and was conducted in 2009 in the United States.

4 Apr 2013 - 10:28am

Bird flu puts stalls off buying more chickens

A stall selling live chickens in Kowloon City. Photo: Felix Wong

Fears of bird flu have deterred live-chicken traders at wet markets from ordering extra birds for today's Ching Ming festival, even though they are traditional offerings for ancestors during the festival.

4 Apr 2013 - 10:27am

Another bird flu death as virus spreads to Zhejiang

A nurse uses a body temperature detector in a hospital in Shanghai. Photo: EPA

The national health commission said the source of infection remained unknown, but listed poultry workers or people who had been in contact with poultry a week before the emergence of symptoms as a high-risk group.

4 Apr 2013 - 10:26am 2 comments

Hanoi bans China poultry after new bird flu strain deaths

Vietnam has announced an immediate ban on all Chinese poultry imports. Photo: AP

Vietnam has announced an immediate ban on all Chinese poultry imports and stepped up border controls after its northern neighbour reported two deaths from a new strain of bird flu.

4 Apr 2013 - 10:29am

Bird flu scare gives shot in the arm to vaccine shares

Bird flu deaths have triggered fears of a mass cull.

Vaccine shares rose while mainland poultry companies declined on the stock market yesterday as the H7N9 bird flu scare in eastern China triggered speculation that Beijing could order a cull to prevent an epidemic.

Four people in Jiangsu province were reportedly fighting for their lives after it was confirmed they were infected with the virus.

4 Apr 2013 - 10:29am

Bird flu a reminder of things we dare not forget

The clinic building which received a patient contracting H7N9 bird flu virus in Nanjing, Jiangsu. Photo: Xinhua

Ten years after Sars, the city faces two timely reminders of the need for vigilance and preparedness against the threat of another outbreak of deadly disease. In the latest, the first reported cases of human infection by a lesser-known strain of bird flu, H7N9, have resulted in the deaths of two men in Shanghai, while five people are in a critical condition in Anhui and Jiangsu provinces.

4 Apr 2013 - 10:29am

Four new cases of H7N9 bird flu confirmed in Jiangsu

A journalist takes photos in front of the Jiangsu Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Nanjing. Photo:Xinhua

Public hospitals in Hong Kong stepped up measures to spot suspected cases and sampling at poultry farms has increased. The Department of Health advised travellers returning from Jiangsu, Shanghai and Anhui with respiratory symptoms to wear masks and seek medical attention.

4 Apr 2013 - 10:29am 1 comment

Hong Kong steps up checks as new bird flu cases reported

The Hospital Authority's Dr Dominic Tsang Ngai-chong (left) and CHP contoller Leung Ting-hung brief the media on H7N9 avian flu measures on Tuesday. Photo: May Tse

Hong Kong health authorities on Tuesday stepped up checks on travellers and hospital patients after it was reported that the new H7N9 bird flu virus had infected four people in eastern China.

4 Apr 2013 - 10:30am

Nanjing poultry butcher fourth person infected with H7N9 bird flu

Chicken are sold on a street on Monday, April 1, 2013 in Shanghai. Photo: AP

A new case of bird flu was reported in China’s eastern Jiangsu province on Tuesday after a member of staff at a Nanjing hospital leaked a patient’s diagnosis on a Chinese social networking site.

4 Apr 2013 - 10:31am

Bird flu fears spark stock stampede

Investors are betting on rising demand for drugs amid public panic after the H7N9 virus killed two people on the mainland. Photo: Bloomberg

Domestic drug makers surged on mainland stock exchanges yesterday as investors rushed into the sector on speculation a new strain of bird flu could spread further and create a spike in demand for related medicines.

4 Apr 2013 - 10:30am

Shanghai hospitals on alert after new bird flu deaths

Shanghai is stepping up monitoring after a new strain of bird flu killed two people. Photo: Reuters

Shanghai's health bureau has ordered hospitals to step up monitoring and supervision of respiratory diseases after a new strain of bird flu killed two people in the city last month, the Shanghai Daily reported yesterday.

3 Apr 2013 - 2:02am

Hong Kong on alert for deadly bird flu strain, says health minister

Secretary for Food and Health Dr Ko Wing-man. Photo: May Tse

Hong Kong’s health minister said on Monday that the city was on high alert for anyone infected with H7N9 avian flu virus after the mainland announced on Sunday three people had contracted the virus.

1 Apr 2013 - 6:39pm

Two men die in Shanghai in first human cases of bird flu strain

A vendor waits for customers near chicken cages at a market in Fuyang city, Anhui province, on March 31, 2013. Photo: AP

The National Health and Family Planning Commission said it wasn't clear how the three became infected, but there was no evidence of human-to-human transmission.

1 Apr 2013 - 12:21pm 1 comment