Hong Kong woman contracts bird flu

2010-11-18 08:50

kalahari.com

Hong Kong - Hong Kong scrambled on Thursday to contain any outbreak of bird flu after recording its first human case of the illness since 2003, a 59-year-old woman now in a serious condition in hospital.

The government raised the teeming city's avian influenza alert level to "serious", meaning there is a "high risk" of contracting the potentially fatal disease, a spokesperson for the Department of Health said.

Hong Kong recorded its last human case of bird flu in 2003, and had the world's first major outbreak among humans in 1997, when six people died of a then-unknown mutation of the virus.

Millions of poultry were culled in the 1997 outbreak, and the city of seven million people gave a preview of the full-blown panic that struck when the deadly respiratory disease SARS emerged in 2003, killing about 300 people.

The jitters returned last year with an outbreak of swine flu that has so far claimed about 80 lives in Hong Kong.

The 59-year-old woman tested positive for Influenza A (H5), a variant of bird flu, after she was first diagnosed with pneumonia, health officials said. She was listed in a serious condition in a hospital isolation ward.

No contact with live poultry

The woman had recently returned from a trip to mainland China but it was too early to say where she contracted the disease, officials said.

She did not visit farms or have contact with live poultry, an initial investigation found. The woman was admitted to hospital on November 14 after complaining of a persistent fever, cough and blood-stained sputum.

According to Hong Kong health chief York Chow, the government has stepped up poultry inspections at wholesale markets and enhanced infection controls at public hospitals and clinics.

Visits to isolation wards in public hospitals have been banned, except on compassionate grounds, he said. All visitors are required to put on masks and wash hands before entering public hospitals.

Chow said there was no sign so far of human-to-human transmission in the case.

"I think we have to first concentrate on the source of infection from the poultry as origin," he said on Wednesday.

Isolated case

"But we will be concentrating on people who were in contact with her when she showed symptoms and also when she was in Hong Kong.

"The chances of her catching it is most likely on the mainland, but you cannot rule out... Hong Kong," he added.

Microbiologist Leo Poon from the University of Hong Kong said it was likely to be an isolated case and did not pose a serious threat to the city.

"At this stage, the threat is not too big... We believe this is an isolated case," he said.

He also said chances of the virus transmitting between humans were very slim.

The female patient travelled to mainland China between October 23 and November 1 with her husband and daughter, the Department of Health's Centre for Health Protection said in a statement.

Her 60-year-old husband had also suffered from flu-like symptoms but has recovered, it said.

Hong Kong is also closely liaising with mainland Chinese authorities to monitor the situation, a spokesperson for the centre said.


Read more on:    hong kong  |  health  |  bird flu  |  h1n1 flu
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

'Zuma's legacy will be judged by Nkandla'

The legacy of President Jacob Zuma is contingent on how he deals with the issue of upgrades to his Nkandla homestead, says Cape Town Archbishop Thabo Makgoba.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

DSTV Mobile iDrifta

The iDrifta is a plug and play mobile DVB-H receiver...

From R445.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be good at organising events but they do take their toll on your energy levels. You may need some time out today just to...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.