Hong Kong Quarantines Bird Flu Woman, Will Check Poultry Markets
A Hong Kong woman who contracted H5N1 bird flu, the first case in the city since 2003, has been quarantined in intensive care and the government will inspect poultry markets over the next few days.
There was no indication of human-to-human transmission of the influenza and eight close contacts of the 59-year-old woman are showing no symptoms, Secretary for Food and Health York Chow told reporters in Hong Kong today.
The woman visited China Oct. 23 to Nov. 1 with her husband and daughter, and didn’t have contact with live poultry or farms there, the Centre for Health Protection said in a statement posted on the government website. The Hong Kong government raised its flu response level to “serious,” Chow said yesterday.
“We think the risk of avian influenza in Hong Kong is not that significantly higher than before,” Chow said. “But since there is one case, we have to be very careful as it might actually point out its source of infection, which might give rise to another case.”
While health officials cannot be certain about where the woman caught the disease, they see a “high probability” it was outside of Hong Kong, Chow said.
The women visited a poultry market in China and ate chicken, according to her husband, Thomas Tsang, controller of the Centre for Health Protection, said yesterday.
The patient visited Shanghai, Nanjing and Hangzhou on her trip. She returned to Hong Kong Nov. 1, showed flu symptoms one day later and entered hospital on Nov. 14 with persistent fever, the government said.
Her 60-year-old husband recovered from a runny nose and cough, the statement said.
Six people died in Hong Kong in a 1997 bird flu outbreak that prompted health authorities to cull all of the chickens and ducks in the city.
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dirk Beveridge at firstname.lastname@example.org
Bloomberg moderates all comments. Comments that are abusive or off-topic will not be posted to the site. Excessively long comments may be moderated as well. Bloomberg cannot facilitate requests to remove comments or explain individual moderation decisions.