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    Woman Infected with Bird Flu in Hong Kong


    by NTDTelevision

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    Hong Kong health authorities are on high alert today after recording a case of the bird flu. Worldwide, more than 500 people have been diagnosed with bird flu since 2003, but this is the first case in Hong Kong since then.

    Hong Kong health authorities say a 59-year-old woman has been infected with the bird flu—also known as the H5 influenza A virus.

    Secretary for Food & Health Dr. York Chow told reporters the patient is in serious condition with pneumonia-like symptoms and to the intensive care unit.

    [Dr. York Chow, Secretary for Food & Health]:
    "In general, we think that the risk of avian influenza in Hong Kong is not that significantly higher than before. But since there is one case, we have to be very careful that it might actually point out a source of infection that might actually give rise to another case."

    Right now they only know of the one isolated case.

    [Dr. York Chow, Secretary for Food & Health]:
    "Whether this other case will be in Hong Kong or outside Hong Kong we still can't predict. But I think we have to take all precautions so that in case there's a risk in Kong Kong we can find out as early as possible."

    Hong Kong's government website says the infected woman travelled to Nanjing, Shanghai and Hangzhou with her family from October 23 to November 1, and visited local markets and ate chicken. But she did not have any contact with live poultry or visit any farms during her stay.

    She came down with flu symptoms the day after she returned to Hong Kong.

    Her 60-year-old husband also had symptoms but has recovered.

    [Dr. York Chow, Secretary for Food & Health]:
    "We demand and also request the hospital authority to increase their vigilance. And whenever there is a patient with a high fever and any symptoms of pneumonia or x-ray evidence of pneumonia, they should do the PRC test as early as possible to rule out any serious avian influenza in these cases. So that will be a practice from now on."