China reports world's first human case of H7N4 bird flu virus

Kyodo News

Posted at Feb 15 2018 02:12 AM

China's health ministry has reported a case of human infection with avian influenza virus H7N4 in eastern China's Jiangsu Province, a first such case in the world, Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection said Wednesday.

The center said it was notified Wednesday by the mainland's National Health and Family Planning Commission that a 68-year-old woman living in Liyang of Changzhou city fell ill on Christmas day last year and was admitted to hospital on Jan. 1.

She was discharged on Jan. 22 after recovering.

The woman was found to have had contact with live poultry before the onset of symptoms, while none of her close contacts has shown any symptoms under surveillance.

According to the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the genes of the H7N4 virus were found to be of avian origin.

A highly pathogenic bird flu virus H7N9 first emerged in China in 2013, having infected 1,564 people as of last October, mainly by contact with live poultry or from tainted environment, according to the World Health Organization.

Another deadly bird flu strain, H5N1, was first found to have spread from live poultry to humans in Hong Kong in 1997, killing six of 18 people infected that year.