Dr. Ian Mackay at VDU's blog has linked to this Bloomberg,com report that quotes him: Hong Kong Confirms City’s First Human Case of Bird Flu. Excerpt:
“We might not expect that this case is the only infection” in Shenzhen, said Ben Cowling, associate professor of infectious disease epidemiology at the University of Hong Kong’s School of Public Health.
Four people who had been in recent, close contact with the patient are displaying minor symptoms, said Ko Wing-man, the city’s health secretary, in the statement. Results of diagnostic tests on them and others may be available as early as today.
Chris Cheung, a spokesman for Hong Kong’s Department of Health, declined to elaborate on the circumstances around which the patient was probably infected. The patient visited Shenzhen on Nov. 17, according to the statement.
She had a history of “traveling to Shenzhen, buying a chicken, slaughtering the chicken and eating the chicken,” Ko told reporters in Hong Kong yesterday.
Human cases of H7N9 in China date back to February and surged in April before agriculture authorities temporarily closed live poultry markets and quarantined farms to limit human exposure. The Geneva-based World Health Organization counted 137 laboratory-confirmed cases as of Oct. 25.
“Respiratory viruses do their own thing; they don’t respect boundaries,” said Ian Mackay, an associate professor of clinical virology at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, in a telephone interview.
“It does seems that it’s continuing to add to provinces and regions, rather than reappear in all the old places it started in back in February and March.”
My own naive question: Why would anyone bother to go all the way from Hong Kong to Shenzhen, a distance of 30 km, when any number of nearby Hong Kong markets could have supplied any number of chickens?