China reports new H7N9 infection

FUZHOU, Feb. 3 (PNA/Xinhua) — A sculptor confirmed as infected with H7N9 bird flu is treated in an isolation ward in Zhangzhou of east China’s Fujian Province, the local health department said on Monday.

The 27-year-old man surnamed Zhang began suffering paroxysmal coughing on Jan. 21 while staying in Hangzhou, capital of the most affected province of Zhejiang, before returning to his hometown of Zhangpu County in Zhangzhou on Jan. 26 before the lunar New Year Day, which fell on Jan. 31.

With symptoms increasing after Jan. 24, he is now in a critical situation, the health sources said.

The man had been in close contact with live poultry as he was shopping daily at a farmer’s market in Hangzhou in January, the sources said.

The case brings the number of infections in Fujian to 13 this year.

China has so far reported more than 100 human H7N9 cases this year, including over 20 deaths, with Zhejiang and Guangdong being mostly affected.

Although live poultry markets have been closed, the ongoing holiday season which witnesses intense population movement might aid the spread of the H7N9 virus.

In the first three days of the week-long holiday, four new cases were reported, including one eight-year-old girl in central China’s Hunan Province. She had also been to a live poultry market.

A 63-year-old man died of the disease on Saturday in Shenzhen of south China’s Guangdong Province. A 37-year-old male sufferer from the city of Zhongshan in the same province is in a critical condition. South China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region also confirmed its first case of a 75-year-old man from the city of Liuzhou. (PNA/Xinhua)