A 31-year-old emergency doctor who worked at the Pudong New Area People’s Hospital died of pneumonia and respiratory failure on Saturday and it is suspected that he had been infected with H7N9 bird flu virus.
The doctor, who wasn’t named, reportedly had a fever all week but continued working. His condition worsened on Friday and he was admitted to intensive care and placed on a respirator, according to Shanghai daily. The doctor, whose wife is pregnant, died shortly after at 4:20 a.m. on Saturday.
It hasn’t yet been confirmed that he was infected with the H7N9 virus, but samples have been sent for testing at the Shanghai Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
“I received a phone call for a group consultation during the afternoon. The patient’s condition had developed very quickly and I gave guidance on the treatment,” Dr. Lu Hongzhou, director of the city’s expert group for H7N9 diagnosis and treatment, told Shanghai Daily.
“Samples have been collected for laboratory testing. Only these results can tell what kind of virus it is,” he said.
Lu added that the doctor had no history of contact with live poultry.
This would make the seventh case of H7N9 Shanghai has seen in the new year, according to ECNS.cn, and the second virus-related death.
Yesterday reports announced that a 77-year-old local male farmer surnamed Wu who had died in the early hours of Saturday morning was also infected with the virus.
The last confirmed case was seen in a 35-year-old man who was diagnosed last Tuesday. There was no indication that he had been in contact with live poultry, either.
Earlier this month, the city announced that it would suspend live poultry sales from January 31 to April 30 as a “seasonal measure” to prevent future outbreaks.