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April 12, 2013

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Home » Metro » Health and Science

6th city death takes toll of H7N9 in China to 10

Three new H7N9 cases were reported in Shanghai yesterday, with one of the patients dying from the bird flu infection.

Six of the city's 18 patients have now died.

Eleven are still undergoing treatment in isolation, while a boy, three years and seven months old, had recovered, the Shanghai Health and Family Planning Commission said.

There were also two new cases reported in Jiangsu Province yesterday, bringing the country's total to 38, with 10 fatalities.

The Shanghai cases were all elderly Shanghainese.

The patient who died was a 74-year-old man who complained of dizziness and fatigue on March 31. Last Friday, at Putuo District Central Hospital, he was diagnosed with pneumonia. His condition had become severe by Tuesday and he tested positive for the H7N9 virus on Wednesday night.

He died yesterday afternoon.

An 83-year-old woman developed a fever and a cough on April 2 and went to Shidong Hospital in Yangpu District for treatment.

When she failed to get better, she went to Changhai Hospital on Sunday, where she was admitted. She also tested positive for H7N9 on Wednesday.

The third new case was a 68-year-old man who started to have a fever and an aching body on April 4. He took cold medicine, but when he failed to get better he went to Jiading District Central Hospital last Saturday for treatment.

On Tuesday he went to Ruijin Hospital's north branch in Jiading District and was diagnosed with pneumonia. He tested positive for H7N9 virus on Wednesday.

None of the Shanghai patients' close contacts have developed flu-like symptoms.

The Jiangsu cases were a 31-year-old chef in Yangzhou and a 56-year-old teacher in Suzhou.

Both men were in a critical condition, but none of their close contacts had exhibited any abnormal symptoms, Xinhua news agency reported.

A total of 12 H7N9 cases have now been confirmed in Jiangsu, including one fatality.

Other cases have been reported in Anhui Province, which confirmed two cases, including one death, and Zhejiang Province, which confirmed six cases, including two deaths.

Shanghai officials said that more than half of the city's cases had been in contact with live poultry recently, whether in the business or by buying live chickens at market.

By yesterday, local industrial and commercial administrative bureaus had shut 23 unlicensed poultry sales stalls and 119 roadside live poultry stands, netting 1,649 live waterfowl and nine wild birds. Authorities also ordered 162 bird sales stalls at 34 flower and bird markets to cease trading and sealed off 16,812 birds inside stores.

Dr Zhang Wenhong, director of the infectious diseases unit of Shanghai's Huashan Hospital, said yesterday that avoiding contact with live poultry and birds should be effective in preventing infection. At a lecture at the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum on H7N9 prevention and control, he said: "After studying the current cases, I found the infection is related with wet markets and fowl."

Apart from avoiding contact with fowl and maintaining good hygiene, Zhang said that going to hospital at an early stage was important.

"Concerning all the deaths, there are only 13 days from starting to develop symptoms to death. Many patients don't go to hospital until the symptoms have become serious," Zhang said.

"People should go to hospital whenever they have a fever of feel their muscles ache for diagnosis and screening. The first four to five days are crucial," Zhang added.


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