Here’s your daily bird flu update: Three more people were diagnosed with the H7N9 bird flu virus across three different Chinese provinces, health authorities said yesterday, and the first case of the virus detected outside of China was seen in Malaysia last week.
Xinhua reports that an 83-year-old man from Huai’an City in Jiangsu province was confirmed as being infected on Sunday morning. The man, surnamed Han, had been in contact with live poultry when he brought eight chickens he had raised to a market for slaughtering. The provincial health and planning commission said that he’s in critical condition.
This is at least the 13th case of human H7N that’s been reported in Jiangsu province this year, including four deaths.
Another patient, a 44-year-old man surnamed Qin, was diagnosed with the flu virus on Saturday and is now being hospitalized in critical condition in Shenzhen, Guangdong province.
The third case was reported in Hunan province, where a 46-year-old man, surnamed Yan, was confirmed to be infected with the H7N9 bird flu virus in Loudi city. This makes his the 10th case reported in Hunan. He’s now receiving treatment at a local hospital where his condition has not be released, according to the provincial health department.
Meanwhile, a 67-year-old woman in Malaysia who was part of a tour group from Guangdong province was diagnosed with the virus last week. The country’s health minister said it was the first H7N9 case reported in the country, and she is now being treated in the intensive care unit at a local hospital.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a statement on the matter, saying that the agency had been expecting the virus to be exported from China.
More than 120 human H7N9 cases have been reported in China so far this year, including 32 deaths.
Researchers in Shanghai have developed a new gene vaccine for the virus for humans which has already shown success in preliminary animal tests. They are now applying to launch clinical experiments for the vaccine and are working to develop antibodies against the virus.