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Taiwan's only H7N9 patient making good progress: doctors

2013/05/12 19:47:23

Taipei, May 12 (CNA) The only person in Taiwan known to be infected with the H7N9 avian flu continues to make progress and is now free of the virus, doctors said Sunday.

The patient, identified only as a 53-year-old businessman to protect his privacy, celebrated Mother's Day with his family in a room at National Taiwan University Hospital (NTU) in Taipei, said NTU Vice Superintendent Chang Shan-chwen.

Several tests have shown that the patient is now free of the H7N9 virus, and he has been moved to an ordinary room, but he still requires treatment for proper recovery of his internal organ functions, Chang said.

The man fell ill three days after he returned from a business trip in Jiangsu Province in early April, and it was confirmed on April 24 that he had been infected with the deadly H7N9 flu virus.

He was admitted to NTU's intensive care unit on April 20 and for 10 days, he was put on an extracorporeal life support system called ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) because his heart and lungs were no longer functioning properly.

As of the first week of May, China had confirmed about 130 cases of H7N9 human infections, including 31 deaths.

(By Lung Ray-yun and Jay Chen)