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Doctor suspected to have died from H7N9

A 31-YEAR-OLD emergency doctor who died of pneumonia and respiratory failure on Saturday morning is suspected of having had H7N9 bird flu virus.

Samples have been sent for tests at the Shanghai Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

The doctor, who was not named, worked at the Pudong New Area People’s Hospital. He was said to have had a fever for a week but continued working.

His condition deteriorated on Friday after a shift and he was admitted to intensive care and placed on a respirator.

But the young doctor, whose wife is pregnant, died shortly after 4:20am on Saturday.

Dr Lu Hongzhou, director of the city’s expert group for H7N9 diagnosis and treatment, told Shanghai Daily that he took part in a group diagnosis of the case on Friday.

“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,” Lu said.

“Samples have been collected for laboratory testing. Only these results can tell what kind of virus it is,” added Lu.

“The symptoms of H1 and H7 flu are similar,” he added.

Lu said the doctor had no history of contact with live poultry.

The Shanghai Health and Family Planning Commission said that its website will immediately report any H7N9 case.

The city has reported five H7N9 cases this month, including two cases confirmed last week.

Last Wednesday, a 35-year-old man, surnamed Wu, was reported having contracted the H7N9 bug. He was diagnosed last Tuesday.

A 54-year-old man, a native of Wuhu City in Anhui Province surnamed Yang, was diagnosed with H7N9 last Wednesday and the case announced the following day. He is receiving treatment at a local hospital, said officials.

The commission did not say whether he had been in contact with live poultry.

Shanghai’s first H7N9 case this winter was reported on January 4, when an 86-year-old man, surnamed Zhou, who had bought live poultry in the market, was confirmed to have the virus.

In two other cases reported this month, a 58-year-old woman, surnamed Zhang, was confirmed with the virus on January 10, and a 56-year-old man, surnamed Shi, diagnosed on January 11.



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