Via The Standard: Family isolated after boy's bird-flu scare.
A two-year-old boy and his parents have been isolated after he stayed in a hospital bed next to an 18-month-old girl infected with H7N9 bird flu.
The boy's father, Tam Ming-wah, criticized the staff of Queen Elizabeth Hospital for arranging that his son stay in the same ward as the girl, who was initially diagnosed with common flu.
Tam's son was also admitted to QEH with flu and put in the same isolation ward as the girl last Sunday.
The boy was discharged the next day. But Tam's family was called back to the hospital for isolation on Tuesday after the girl was confirmed with H7N9, the sixth case in Hong Kong.
At first Tam's family was not required to be isolated, but later he was told the family needed to be hospitalized for 10 days. The girl, who recovered and was discharged, and family and contacts were also brought to hospital for isolation after the virus was confirmed.
Hospital Authority chief infection control officer Dominic Tsang Ngai- chong said the girl's family did not inform doctors about her contact with birds in the mainland and they were unaware she had been to the mainland when she was admitted to hospital last Saturday.
"It is hard to say it's the medics' fault putting the boy and the infected girl in the same ward because the medics and staff did ask, but then the girl's medical record did not show relevant information. It may be unfair to criticize in this way," he said.
Tam said the two children were in beds less than a meter away from each other in the ward. "I saw there was not even a curtain between the patients."
He said the girl's mother told him that her child might have contracted H7 because she had had a fever in Foshan, Guangdong.
The Centre for Health Protection said on Tuesday that the toddler, who lives in To Kwa Wan, had traveled to Shunde from February 5 to 27 during which she was brought to a nearby wet market by her mother on February 24 but they did not buy any poultry.
But in the isolation ward in Queen Elizabeth, Tam said the nurse said it was common flu and asked him not to worry.