Taiwanese H7N9 patient recovers, discharged from hospital

05/24/2013 11:52 AM
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Taipei, May 24 (CNA) A Taiwanese man who is the only person in the country found to have contracted the deadly H7N9 bird flu virus has recovered and was discharged from National Taiwan University (NTU) Hospital Friday.

The patient, identified only by his family name Lee, had been hospitalized for 35 days with the virus that affected the functions of his internal organs.

At the height of Lee's illness, the hospital had to resort to intubation, an artificial lung and dialysis in an effort to save his life.

On May 2, he was taken off ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation), a machine that functions like an artificial lung, and removed from the ventilator May 7.

Hospital authorities said Lee's condition has since improved and his kidneys are functioning normally again.

Lee returned to Taiwan April 9 after a trip to China's Jiangsu Province, one of the country's H7N9 bird flu-affected areas. He fell ill with flu-like symptoms April 12, but did not go to see a doctor until April 16.

He was transferred to NTU Hospital April 20 and confirmed to have been infected with the new avian flu virus April 24.

The virus has so far infected at least 130 people in China, killing 36 of them, according to the latest data on the official website of Taiwan's Centers for Disease Control.

To date, Taiwan is the only area outside China that has reported an imported case of H7N9.

(By Lung Rui-yun and Sofia Wu)enditem /pc

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