Connect to share and comment
Hong Kong confirmed he contracted the AH5 strain of bird flu and placed hospitals in the Chinese territory on alert.
Hong Kong confirmed a 2-year-old boy had contracted bird flu and placed hospitals in the Chinese territory on alert on Saturday.
However, Hong Kong Health Secretary York Chow — cited by RTHK — described the case as an isolated incident and urged the public not to panic.
The boy — a Hong Kong ID card holder — arrived from the southern Chinese city of Guangdong, where he lives, a week ago and was admitted to hospital with convulsions.
The Centre for Health Protection said he had tested positive for the AH5 strain of bird flu, according to the Herald Sun newspaper.
More tests were being conducted to determine whether it is the deadly H5N1 sub-strain of the virus, which has been responsible for 356 deaths since 2003, according to the World Health Organisation.
According to a statement put out by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, the carcass of a dead crested Myrna — a common resident bird in Hong Kong — found on April 27 in the territory tested positive for the H5N1 virus.
The release quoted a department spokesman as reminding people to observe good personal hygiene.
"They should avoid personal contact with wild birds or live poultry and clean their hands thoroughly after coming into contact with them," he said.
More from GlobalPost: Research into deadly bird flu virus should be published uncensored, US panel says
Meanwhile, the infected boy — described as being in a stable condition — is being treated in isolation.
Chow said the boy had been to poultry markets in Guangdong, although it could not be confirmed where he had caught the virus.
Hong Kong was unlikely to revive a ban on live poultry from the mainland, Chow said.
Six people died and 12 others were infected in the territory in 1997, during the first modern outbreak of H5N1 bird flu.