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Hong Kong Confirms First H7N9 Death

Update Date: Dec 27, 2013 09:45 AM EST
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The avian influenza, H7N9 that affected China this past year has returned as predicted. The first case of H7N9 showed up in Hong Kong at the beginning of this month. Now, according to the government, the second case of H7N9 in an elderly man has resulted in death. The officials stated that an 80-year-old man contracted the virus and has died from it this past Thursday in Hong Kong.

The officials reported that the man lived in Shenzhen, located in the southern region of Mainland China. In this city, the senior had eaten poultry, which was most likely the cause of the illness. In the city, the avian flu virus was confirmed in two poultry markets. Before the man's flu symptoms manifested, he had sought treatment for his diabetes and cardiovascular health at Tuen Mun Hospital. A few days after seeking medical care, his flu symptoms showed up and the patient was transferred to the intensive care unit at Princess Margaret Hospital in Kwai Chung, Hong Kong. The patient could not recover fully and died.

"Even though this is the first fatal case in Hong Kong, it does not mean that the risk of H7N9 has increased," said University of Hong Kong microbiologist Dr. Ho Pak-leung reported by South China Morning Post.

The first confirmed case of H7N9 during this fall/winter season was in a 36-year-old Indonesian woman, Tri Mawarti. The woman had a history of traveling to Shenzhen, where she came into contact with live poultry. She is reportedly in a stable condition at Queen Mary Hospital in Pok Fu Lam.

H7N9 first showed up in China during February of this year. Although contained within the nation, it infected 139 people and killed over 40. The virus was spotted in Taiwan and Hong Kong as well. As of right now, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that no evidence that H7N9 can be transmitted between humans. The people who have come into contact with the elderly an all tested negative for the virus. For any flu virus, seniors and young children are highly vulnerable and need to be extra careful.

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