China confirms world’s first case of H7N4 bird flu in a 68-year-old woman from the eastern province of Jiangsu. The Hong Kong government said that this was the world’s first ever case of human infection with the H7N4 strain.
Chinese authorities advising Hong Kong’s officials to avoid live poultry markets or farms, wet markets if traveling to the mainland during the busy Lunar New Year holiday. They also added that travelers should also avoid touching poultry/birds or their droppings and purchasing live or freshly slaughtered poultry. Citizens should maintain strict personal, food and environmental hygiene.
The case involved a woman who was admitted to hospital on Jan. 1 after developing symptoms on Dec. 25, and she was discharged on Jan. 22, according to China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission.
According to Hong Kong’s centre for health protection (CHP), the woman had contact with live poultry before the onset of symptoms. They said on Wednesday that the genes of the virus were determined to be of avian origin, the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention reported.
Since 2013, around 600 people have died of H7N9 bird flu virus in China and more than 1,500 people have fallen sick. Some 40 percent of people hospitalized with the virus die.
CDC advised, “The most frequently identified H7 viruses associated with human infection are Asian lineage avian influenza A (H7N9) viruses, which were first detected in China in 2013. While human infections are rare, these have commonly resulted in severe respiratory illness and death.”