The 80-year-old man who was confirmed as being infected by the H7N9 bird flu virus in the beginning of December has died in Hong Kong, the government announced on Thursday, making it the first bird flu-related death in the city.
His was the second case in Hong Kong, the first being a 36-year-old woman who was also hospitalized earlier this month.
Both of the infected people were believed to have come into contact with wet markets in Shenzhen. Samples taken from two Shenzhen wet markets tested positive for the deadly virus two weeks ago, but the markets weren’t closed down immediately after.
“They came to collect samples but we heard nothing about the test results and trade continued all day long today,” one market trader said.
Two people in Dongguan have been confirmed as being infected within the past month as well. A microbiologist at the University of Hong Kong predicted that the virus will continue to spread in Guangdong and surrounding areas.