Taiwanese man tests negative for H7N9: CDC

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The Centers for Disease Control said Saturday that a Taiwanese man who arrived back from China with several symptoms of the H7N9 bird-flu virus tested negative.
The 27-year-old was only one of 35 people arriving at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport between Friday noon and Saturday 9 a.m. showing a fever, but he was the only case deemed serious enough to refer to a nearby hospital for compulsory tests.
The man had just spent four days on a tour of China’s Jiangsu Province, together with Shanghai, Zhejiang and Anhui one of the officially affected areas of the country. As he arrived in Taiwan, he was coughing, showed a fever and felt tired, the CDC said, indicating he might be a suspected case of H7N9.
The CDC said that tests had shown he suffered from the H3N2 version of the flu virus, which didn’t pose any threats.
The CDC said anyone arriving from one of the affected areas with multiple symptoms of the virus would be forced to undergo treatment at a hospital.
Out of the 35 travelers arriving with a fever, 24 came from China, Hong Kong or Macau while 11 had entered from other countries. Only two of the total came from affected areas in China, but one was a six-year-old Taiwanese boy who showed a fever but no other symptoms, reports said.
Taiwan had recorded a total of 14 suspected cases reported by hospitals, but none of the patients had proven to be infected with the deadly virus, the CDC said. China recorded at least 6 deaths by Friday evening.
A Chinese visitor from Jiangsu Province and a Taiwanese businessman returning from Shanghai for the Tomb Sweeping Holiday had earlier been tested but were declared free of H7N9. In some cases, patients had been infected with H1N1, according to the CDC.
Department of Health Minister Chiu Wen-ta visited some of the hospitals involved, while airports, harbors and airlines stepped up measures to track down potential cases.
CDC Director-General Chang Feng-yee warned that it was virtually unavoidable that sooner or later, cases of H7N9 would show up in Taiwan because of the close transportation links with China. He cautioned that because the incubation period for the virus lasted seven days, it was possible that someone still felt healthy while in China but would fall ill with a fever during a stay in Taiwan.
Taiwan would try and develop a vaccine even if China did not provide it with a sample of the virus, reports said.