HK Confirms Second Human Case of Bird Flu

Hong Kong confirmed its second human case of bird flu on Friday (December 30), just days after an elderly man died of the virus.

The government said in a statement that a 70-year-old man tested positive for the H7N9 strain of the virus. He had traveled to the Chinese cities of Shenzhen and Zhongshan earlier in December.

Authorities are still investigating the source of infection. The patient recalled that he had come across mobile stalls selling live poultry in Zhongshan.

The patient is in stable condition now at a hospital while those who have been in close contact with him have been put under medical surveillance although none reported any symptoms.

Another elderly man, who had bought a chicken from a market in Guangdong province, died on Sunday (December 25) after testing positive for H7N9. He was initially diagnosed with pneumonia when he was admitted to the hospital on December 9.

Cases of bird flu are expected to increase in winter based on its seasonal pattern. The disease is currently wrecking havoc in European and Asian countries, leading to the destruction of millions of birds.

Bird flu was first reported in humans in Hong Kong in 1997, causing the death of six people. Subsequent outbreaks have killed hundreds more worldwide.

Around 20,000 birds were culled in Hong Kong in the past two years because of bird flu scares.

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