Hong Kong H5N1 bird flu case raises alert levels

Hong Kong is experiencing its first case of human infection of H5N1 bird flu in seven years, prompting other countries to raise their alert levels.

A 59-year-old woman tested positive for H5N1 bird flu after returning to Hong Kong from mainland China and remains hospitalised, said Hong Kong's Health Secretary York Chow.

The Hong Kong government raised the bird flu alert to "serious” following a 59-year-old woman testing positive for H5N1 bird flu after returning to Hong Kong from mainland China. According to Hong Kong's health authorities, the woman visited several markets during her sightseeing trips to Shanghai, Hangzhou and Nanjing around the end of October.

In Taiwan, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Director-General Chang Feng-yi said that the center has advised all airports and seaports to immediately activate measures to prevent importation of the disease.

He advised that Taiwanese travellers to declared bird flu affected areas refrain from visiting poultry farms, poultry slaughtering houses or traditional markets where there is a risk of contact with live birds and bird droppings.

The bird flu virus first struck Hong Kong in 1997. Six people died in that outbreak and all chickens in the territory were culled. Since the H5N1 virus resurfaced in Asia in 2003, it has killed more than 200 people in a dozen countries, according to the World Health Organization.

Editor WorldPoultry

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