Hong Kong boy, 10, tests positive for H7 avian flu virus after visit to mainland China

Hong Kong boy, 10, tests positive for H7 avian flu virus after visit to mainland China

Primary student admitted to hospital and isolated had visited a relative’s home in Guangdong province where live chickens were kept


The boy was admitted to Princess Margaret Hospital in Kwai Chung.
Photo: Felix Wong/SCMP

A 10-year-old Hong Kong boy might have become the latest imported case of H7 bird flu reported in the city in this winter.

The student at Salvation Army Lam Butt Chung Memorial School in Tung Chung previously had a good health record, but he developed a fever and cough and was vomiting on Sunday, the Centre for Health Protection said.

He went to the emergency department at North Lantau Hospital before being admitted to Princess Margaret Hospital on Monday.

Following his admission, his condition remained stable, and on Tuesday afternoon he was discharged. However, that evening was re-admitted and isolated.

A preliminary test showed he was positive for influenza A virus subtype H7. Further testing by the centre was underway.

The centre’s enquiries revealed the boy and his family had travelled to Foshan, Guangdong province, between December 31 and January 3, during which he had visited a relative’s home where a few live chickens were kept. But he denied having any direct contact with the birds.

The family had also visited a market but said they did not go into its poultry section.

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The boy’s close contacts remained asymptomatic and had been put under medical surveillance. The centre is tracing his other contacts in Hong Kong.

He went to school on Friday but has not returned since he fell sick.

The case was reported to Guangdong and Macau health authorities

If he is confirmed to have contracted H7N9 on the mainland, his would be the fourth imported case in Hong Kong this winter. The first imported case was reported on December 19.

The infection, which has typically stricken elderly people in the city, has claimed two lives. All three previous cases involved visits to the mainland.


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