BEIJING, Aug. 12 (Xinhuanet) -- A new case of the H7N9 "bird flu" virus has been confirmed in China and it’s the first confirmed case in the southern province of Guangdong. Health officials there say a female patient from Huizhou tested positive for the virus.
The head of Guangdong’s anti-H7N9 specialist team said the patient is currently in critical condition. He also noted that the case is not a sign of a widespread H7N9 outbreak.
Zhong Nanshan, Head, Guangdong Anti-H7N9 Specialist Team, said, "The number of H7N9 cases have decreased since May when the weather became hot. But in July, one case was reported in Hebei province. And now another case was reported at the beginning of August in Guangdong Province’s Huizhou City. A widespread outbreak usually features a group of cases all at the same time. But for now, these are only individual cases."
The official said it is still unclear how the virus was transmitted. But he added that taking anti-virus medicine can be helpful in treating patients who contract flu-like symptoms after coming in contact with poultry. The latest patient is a 51-year-old woman. She has been transferred to Guangzhou for further treatment. She is said to be conscious and in stable condition. The woman worked in a market for many years, slaughtering poultry.
Poultry markets in and around Huizhou have now been told to carry out weekly disinfections, instead of monthly. The local government says five tons of disinfectant has been used to prevent the virus from spreading. Over 130 human cases of H7N9 have been confirmed in China since February. 43 patients have died.