Hong Kong Flu Update

Date: 1 January 1998
From: Dorothy Preslar
Sources: CNN, China Times (Taiwan), South China Morning Post (Hong Kong)
[News reports rewritten by Moderator CHC]

According to a media source, one new case of influenzavirus A H5N1 has been confirmed in Hong Kong. The patient is a 14-year old girl but no further details are given.

Also, the newspaper reported that Hiroshi Kida, a World Health Organization (WHO) official in Taiwan to teach authorities how to identify the flu [influenzavirus A H5N1], said 1.7 million chickens [had] died from the disease in China in February and March of 1997. Apparently Chinese authorities did not inform the WHO of the epidemic, the report said. [China is not a member of the OIE (Office International des Epizooties, Paris), so had no responsibility to report the outbreak in poultry.]

China had no comment yesterday on reports that bird flu had killed one person in Guangzhou and left several others seriously ill. The Ministry of Health said no one could respond to the CNN report because of the Christmas and New Year holidays.

- -- Dorothy B. Preslar ProMED/AHEAD Project Director Federation of American Scientists

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