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Chinese H7N9 patient dies in Taiwan
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-01-21 02:24 PM
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – An 86-year-old man from China’s Jiangsu Province died from shock in Taiwan Monday night after having been hospitalized for the H7N9 bird flu virus last month, reports said Tuesday.

The unnamed man from the city of Changzhou arrived in Taiwan on December 17 as part of a group. When he lost his appetite and began to show other symptoms of the virulent strain of bird flu, he sought medical treatment and was hospitalized on December 24. He needed a respirator because of a severe pneumonia, reports said.

As several rounds of tests later showed that the virus had completely disappeared, the man was allowed to leave isolation on January 14. However, the pneumonia symptoms he contracted during the flu outbreak did not subside and were believed to have caused his death, reports said.

None of the people who came into contact with the patient either close or far showed to have contracted H7N9, the authorities said. Of the other members of his tour group, 22 returned to China on December 24, while his two daughters stayed in Taiwan to care for him.

The Ministry of Health and Welfare announced the case on December 21. It was the second case of imported H7N9 in Taiwan over the past year, with a similar occurrence recorded last April, officials at the ministry’s Centers for Disease Control said. The CDC has advised people traveling to China to stay away from live poultry and from traditional markets.

Last April’s patient was a 53-year-old Taiwanese man who worked in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province. He fell ill three days after returning to the island. He was diagnosed as a hepatitis B carrier with hypertension problems, but had not been in apparent contact with poultry during his work in China, the CDC said.

H7N9 has a death rate of about 20 percent. The incubation period lasts from seven to ten days, but the disease is difficult to spread from person to person, experts said. The latest wave of the bird flu started in China early last year.

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