Taiwan reports 2nd case of imported H7N9 in 2013 (update)

2013/12/31 22:06:54

Taipei, Dec. 31 (CNA) Health authorities confirmed Tuesday that a Chinese tourist in Taiwan has been infected with the H7N9 strain of bird flu, marking the second imported H7N9 infection this year.

The infected, an 86-year-old man from Jiangsu Province, is still in Taiwan receiving treatment, though most of his 25-person tour group has already returned to China, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Two of his daughters have stayed with him but have thus far shown no symptoms associated with the virus.

The man entered Taiwan Dec. 17 and began showing symptoms two days later, starting with a loss of appetite. On Dec. 23, he reported tightness of the chest before being rushed to an emergency room the next day, where he was put on a ventilator to treat pneumonia.

An infectious diseases experts familiar with the case said he was not surprised by the second case of H7N9 coming from China following the first back in April.

Even so, this patient's symptoms were slightly different from previously reported infections, indicating that doctors still face some difficulty in diagnosing the virus, he added.

The man's infection could mean that H7N9 has become prevalent across all of southern China even though, puzzlingly, major duck and chicken farms in the region have been found disease-free.

"Beware of the virus if you see any ducks in the Jiangnan (south of the Yangtze River) area," he cautioned.

(By Chen Ching-fang and Wesley Holzer)
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