The Centre for Health Protection has issued a news release: CHP closely monitors four additional human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Mainland. Excerpt:
The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) is closely monitoring, as of yesterday (February 9), four additional human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) respectively in Shenzhen, Zhaoqing, Zhejiang and Anhui according to the latest reports of the Mainland health authorities.
The case in Shenzhen involves a woman aged 81 who died on February 7. The case in Zhaoqing is a boy aged 11 currently hospitalised for treatment. The cases in Zhejiang and Anhui are two men aged 68 and 66 respectively. Both are under treatment in hospital.
As of yesterday, a total of 324 human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) have been confirmed in the Mainland, including Zhejiang (128 cases), Guangdong (60 cases), Shanghai (41 cases), Jiangsu (40 cases), Fujian (20 cases), Hunan (nine cases), Jiangxi (six cases), Anhui (five cases), Beijing (four cases), Henan (four cases), Guangxi (three cases), Shandong (two cases), Guizhou (one case, imported from Zhejiang) and Hebei (one case).
"Locally, enhanced disease surveillance, port health measures and health education against avian influenza are ongoing. We will remain vigilant and maintain liaison with the World Health Organization (WHO) and relevant health authorities. Local surveillance activities will be modified upon the WHO's recommendations," a spokesman for the DH remarked.
"In view of human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) confirmed in Hong Kong and multiple cases notified by the Mainland, the activity of the virus is expected to be higher in the winter season. Those planning to travel outside Hong Kong should maintain good personal, environmental and food hygiene at all times," the spokesman urged.
The 81-year-old woman in Shenzhen must have been born in 1932 or early 1933. As a little girl, she experienced the Japanese invasion and the Second World War. She was a teenager when Mao proclaimed the People's Republic in 1949, and spent her adult life in the turbulence and dizzying change of China's last 65 years. Having survived all that, she has died in a most unlikely way, from a rare and obscure virus. I hope that at least she had her children and grandchildren with her at the end.