Taiwanese diagnosed with H7N9 after China trip

CDC is looking for 108 people who came into contact with patient


(CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The Centers for Disease Control said Saturday they were looking for 108 people who came into contact with a 69-year-old Kaohsiung man who brought the H7N9 bird flu back from China.

The man reportedly contracted the disease during a stay in Guangdong Province for his work in late January. He visited a doctor in China after showing symptoms such as fever, but returned to Taiwan on January 25. Tests at a local hospital the following day concluded he did not have fever, and after being administered antibiotics, he was allowed to return home on the condition he kept watch on his condition, reports said.

On January 29, he felt feverish again, while he also had to cough and showed breathing difficulties. A second hospital visit led to a verdict of pneumonia, but it was a new test which finally concluded on February 1 that the man had contracted H7N9, reports said.

The patient was unconscious and staying in intensive care, the CDC said. He is the first case of imported H7N9 this year and also the first one since the spring of 2014, according to CDC data. The authorities recently warned visitors to China to be careful, since over the past few months, more than 260 people had been diagnosed with the bird flu.

Six people in China who had contact with the man had been traced, with four of them having recovered from apparent symptoms and two others not having shown any health problems at all, the CDC said.

All of five H7N9 human infection cases in Taiwan over the past four years were imported from China, the CDC said, warning that the fatality rate for this particular type of bird flu amounted to a range from 30 to 40 percent.