Friday, November 19, 2010

Bird Flu Outbreak in Hong Kong

AFP

HONG Kong is scrambling to contain an outbreak of bird flu after recording its first human case of the illness since 2003.

A 59-year-old woman now in a serious condition in hospital.

The government raised the teeming city's avian influenza alert level to "serious", meaning there is a "high risk" of contracting the potentially fatal disease, a spokesman for the Department of Health told AFP.

Hong Kong recorded its last human case of bird flu in 2003, and had the world's first major outbreak among humans in 1997, when six people died of a then-unknown mutation of the virus.

Millions of poultry were culled in the 1997 outbreak, and the city of seven million people gave a preview of the full-blown panic that struck when the deadly respiratory disease SARS emerged in 2003, killing about 300 people.

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