China's latest bird flu patient was discharged from hospital Wednesday in Guangdong Province, local health authorities have said.
After being treated in the Donghu Hospital for seven weeks the patient, a 31-year-old truck driver surnamed Jiang from Shenzhen, had recovered sufficiently to return home, the Shenzhen municipal health department reported.
On June 15, the Ministry of Health confirmed that Jiang had contracted the H5N1 strain of avian influenza bringing China's total number of human infections to 19.
Jiang had visited a local market several times where live poultry was being sold before developing a fever and pneumonia on June 3. He was critically ill when he was admitted for treatment, said hospital head, Zhou Boping. Many internal organs showed signs of failure and his lungs were severely infected, said Zhou.
Several forms of treatment were used including some "innovative technology" said a medical source. Jiang's condition was the most serious of all the Chinese bird-flu patients who'd recovered, said the health department.
He has been doing well since late June. Examinations have shown the avian influenza virus was no longer in his system on June 22 and by July 5 he was able to breathe without a respirator.
"Although he has recovered his lung still has a shadow and his liver still needs time to fully recover," a health department official said. Health workers will continue to monitor his physical condition.
Since appearing on Asian poultry farms in late 2003 bird flu has infected 19 people in China and killed 12 of them. This patient is the only male adult in the country known to have survived the virus.
(Xinhua News Agency China Daily August 3, 2006)