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H7N9 avian influenza confirmed in Zhejiang, China woman

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The China National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) reported today the 152nd human case of avian influenza A(H7N9) on the mainland, according to a Hong Kong Centre for Health Protection (CHP) news release Jan. 9.

The patient, a 51-year-old woman from the city of Tongxiang in Zhejiang province, is currently hospitalized for her illness in the provincial capital of Hangzhou.

She is reported in serious condition.

She was laboratory-confirmed for the virus on Wednesday.

This is the second case reported in Zhejiang in 2014. Human cases of H7N9 have been reported in the provinces of Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Guangdong so far this year, according to a Xinhua report today.

Related story: CDC releases statement on Canadian H5N1 avian influenza case

People in close contact with poultry are more susceptible to contracting avian flu. The elderly, children and people with chronic illness have a higher risk of developing complications such as bronchitis and chest infection.

Clinical presentation of avian influenza in humans includes eye infection (conjunctivitis), flu-like symptoms (e.g. fever, cough, sore throat, muscle aches) or severe respiratory illness (e.g. chest infection). The more virulent forms [e.g. infection by avian influenza A (H5N1 or H7N9) viruses] can result in respiratory failure, multi-organ failure and even death.

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