Hong Kong detects sixth imported H7N9 case
Hong Kong health officials today announced another imported H7N9 influenza infection, in an 18-month-old girl who had recently traveled to mainland China's Guangdong province, one of the hot spots in the most recent wave of cases.
The girl's illness is the sixth imported H7N9 case detected in Hong Kong since December, according to a statement today from Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection (CHP).
The previously healthy youngster had a mild fever and saw a doctor on Feb 28 and was taken to an emergency department in Hong Kong on Mar 1 after she had a febrile seizure. Preliminary tests were positive for flu, and she was discharged on Mar 3 after her fever subsided. On the same day routine tests at the CHP's lab detected H7N9 in the girl's samples, and she was hospitalized again for isolation and testing. She is otherwise asymptomatic.
Investigation found that she had visited the Guangdong province city of Foshan from Feb 5 to Feb 27, during which time her mother took her to a live-bird market on Feb 24. They did not buy poultry but had stayed at a local residence with known poultry nearby.
The CHP said it is coordinating with mainland officials on testing and monitoring of the child's contacts.
Announcement of Hong Kong's case came on a day when no new H7N9 cases or deaths were reported on China's mainland. Today's new case boosts the overall outbreak total to 381, with the unofficial death total remaining at 118. So far 245 cases have been reported in the second wave of infections, which started in October, compared with 136 in the first wave last spring.
Mar 4 CHP statement
Four new H5N1 outbreaks in Vietnam kill 11,000 poultry
Vietnam has reported four new H5N1 avian flu outbreaks that involved 11,305 poultry to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), according to a Mar 1 OIE report.
The outbreaks began between Feb 27 and Mar 1 and affected village flocks in northern (Hai Duong, Hung Yen), central (Gia Lai), and southern (Soc Trang) provinces.
The number of birds killed by the virus ranged from 134 to 2,004 in the four outbreaks, and the size of the flocks varied from 505 to 5,700 poultry. The surviving birds in each flock were culled to prevent disease spread. All told, H5N1 infected 5,270 birds, killing 3,742, and the remaining 7,563 poultry were destroyed.
So far this year Vietnam has reported to the OIE 29 H5N1 outbreaks in poultry flocks throughout the country.
Mar 1 OIE report
Low-path H5N1 detected on Dutch farm
In other H5N1 news, a low-pathogenicity strain of the virus was detected at a farm in the Netherlands, which led to the culling of 40,237 poultry, according to a Feb 28 OIE report.
Christianne Bruschke, DVM, PhD, the country's chief veterinary officer, reported that the low-path strain was detected in samples at the Central Veterinary Institute national lab in Lelystad by polymerase chain reaction. The outbreak farm and the lab are in Flevoland province, which is on the country's central coast.
All poultry on the farm have been destroyed, and no other farms are located in the established 1-kilometer protection zone, the report said. Officials have also initiated control of poultry movement within the country.
Feb 28 OIE report