China reports first ever human case of H7N4 bird flu

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China reports first ever human case of H7N4 bird flu

The Chinese National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) reported confirming a human case of avian influenza A (H7N4).

The case involved a 68-year-old female patient from the city of Liyang in Jiangsu province, who had developed symptoms on December 25, was admitted to hospital on January 1 for treatment and discharged on January 22, according to the NHFPC.

The semi-autonomous southern Chinese city is a high-risk area for the spread of communicable diseases because of its high population density and busy regional and global transport links.

Chinese authorities advising Hong Kong's officials to avoid live poultry markets or farms, wet markets if traveling to the mainland during the busy Lunar New Year holiday.

Authorities in China and Hong Kong did not provide further details on the H7N4 strain found in the woman, such as its virulence. They should also avoid purchasing live or freshly slaughtered poultry, and avoid touching poultry/birds or their droppings.

The general public is encouraged to maintain strict personal, hand, food and environmental hygiene, especially when handling poultry. A different bird flu strain, H7N9, has killed at least 600 people in China since 2013, Reuters reports. "While human infections are rare, these have commonly resulted in severe respiratory illness and death".

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