Hong Kong health officials confirmed Tuesday afternoon a human case of H9N2 infection, a mild form of avian influenza, the first of its kind in three years.
Dr. Thomas Tsang, the Controller of the Center for Health Protection of the Department of Health, said a 9-month baby has been diagnosed with H9N2 bird flu during a press briefing on Tuesday afternoon.
Tsang said the baby, who lives in Tseung Kwan O of the New Territories, showed symptoms of fever beginning on March 4 and was hospitalized on March 6. She recovered on March 9 and her parents and grandma did not show symptoms of avian influenza.
Tsang said the girl has never been outside Hong Kong but her family once took her to the marketplace to buy live poultry.
The baby is currently under medical observation in Princess Margaret Hospital and the health authority has conducted blood testing for her family members. Tsang said the results will be released next week after full genic testing is completed.
He added that the Hong Kong health authority has notified the World Health Organization and the Ministry of Health of the H9N2 avian influenza case.
Hong Kong reported two human H9N2 avian flu cases in 1999, involving a four-year-old child and a 13-month-old baby. In 2003, a five-year-old child was also confirmed to be infected with the H9N2 avian flu virus. All the three patients infected with the H9N2 recovered.
(Xinhua News Agency March 21, 2007)