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Published On: Mon, Mar 17th, 2014

Hong Kong investigates imported H7N9 avian influenza case in 5 month-old baby girl

The Hong Kong Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) is today (March 17) investigating an imported human case of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Hong Kong affecting a five-month-old baby girl.

This negatively-stained transmission electron micrograph (TEM) captured some of the ultrastructural details exhibited by the new influenza A (H7N9) virus. Image/Cynthia S. Goldsmith and Thomas Rowe

This negatively-stained transmission electron micrograph (TEM) captured some of the ultrastructural details exhibited by the new influenza A (H7N9) virus.
Image/Cynthia S. Goldsmith and Thomas Rowe

The patient, who lives in Foshan, Guangdong but has been staying in Shenzhen in the past week, developed fever and vomiting yesterday (March 16). She came to Hong Kong with her parents last night and was taken to the Accident and Emergency Department of North District Hospital (NDH) by taxi for consultation. She was subsequently transferred to Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Hospital (AHNH) by ambulance and was admitted for further management in the small hours of today.

Her nasopharyngeal aspirate tested positive for avian influenza A(H7N9) virus upon laboratory testing by the CHP’s Public Health Laboratory Services Branch today.

The patient has been sent to Princess Margaret Hospital for isolation. Her current condition is stable.

The CHP’s initial investigation revealed that the patient had been taken to a wet market in Shenzhen by her grandparents four to five days ago where live poultry was sold, but the patient had no direct contact with the poultry.

“The CHP’s epidemiological investigations and contact tracing are on-going. Close contacts including the patient’s parents and the patients who had stayed in the same cubicle with the index patient in AHNH will be admitted for testing and observation, while other contacts including relevant healthcare workers, ambulance staff, visitors, staff at Lo Wu Control Point and the taxi driver who took the patient to NDH, will also be traced for exposure assessment and medical surveillance,” a spokesman for the CHP explained.

The CHP will liaise with relevant Mainland health authority to follow-up on the patient’s contacts in the Mainland.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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