Published Date: 2007-12-05 17:00:16
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Avian influenza, human (154): China (Jiangsu)
Archive Number: 20071205.3920
AVIAN INFLUENZA, HUMAN (154): CHINA (JIANGSU)
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Tue 4 Dec 2007
Source: World Health Organization (WHO) Epidemic and Pandemic Alert
and Response (EPR) disease outbreak news [edited]
China: avian influenza situation - WHO update 4
As of Tue 4 Dec 2007, The Ministry of Health in China has reported a
new case of human infection with the H5N1 avian influenza virus. The
case was confirmed by the national laboratory on 2 Dec 2007.
The 24-year old male from Jiangsu Province, developed symptoms on 24
Nov 2007, was hospitalized on 27 Nov 2007, and died on 2 Dec 2007.
There is no initial indication to suggest he had contact with sick
birds prior to becoming unwell. Close contacts have been placed under
medical observation and all remain well.
Of the 26 cases confirmed to date in China, 17 have been fatal.
ProMED-mail Rapporteur Marianne Hopp
Date: Tue 4 Dec 2007
Source: The Standard (Hong Kong) online [edited]
Ministry of Health officials in the mainland are trying to determine
how a 24-year-old man, who had no known contact with infected or dead
poultry, died from avian flu on Sun 2 Dec 2007 [see ProMED-mail Avian
influenza, human (153): China (Jiangsu) 20071202.3886]. The Centre
for Health Protection of Hong Kong's Department of Health was told
yesterday morning [3 Dec 2007] none of the man's close contacts had
shown signs of avian influenza. Reports say that 69 people who had
been in contact with the man are under medical observation. The
center said samples taken from the man confirmed he had been infected
with H5N1. His death brings the number of avian flu fatalities in the
mainland to 17.
But virologist Julian Tang Wei-tze was skeptical about the assessment
that the victim has had no contact with birds or poultry. "It's about
the accuracy of their contact history. With an incompatible history
it's hard to exclude any contact with infected birds, their droppings
A Hong Kong-based microbiologist said it was too early to assume any
sort of mutation and that the explanation lay in the definition of
contact with sick or dead poultry. "If you look back to Hong Kong in
1997 and take the definition of sick or dead poultry, hardly any of
the 18 human cases had evidence of contact with sick or dead poultry.
Hong Kong has very few poultry farmers and in all likelihood, the
cases were exposed at markets."
Contact with infected birds is the most common form of transmission
of the virus to humans. A similar case occurred in July 2007 when a
6-year-old Indonesian boy was infected, with no apparent contact with
poultry. The Indonesian medical community was puzzled, unable to find
infected poultry within 300 meters [984 feet].
The death was reported just as a 2nd exercise began yesterday [3 Dec
2007] to test emergency response cooperation and coordination between
the mainland, Hong Kong and Macau. More than 60 public health
officials and medical personnel joined, including representatives of
the Food and Health Bureau, the Department of Health and Hospital
Authority in Hong Kong, the Ministry of Health in Beijing and the
Jiangsu province Health Department and Health Bureau of Macau.
[Byline: Timothy Chui]
ProMED-mail Rapporteur Mary Marshall
[Conversely the rarity of human infection among poultry workers and
cullers indicates that contact with diseased birds is not the sole
determining factor in human susceptibility to avian H5N1 influenza
virus infection. - Mod.CP]