Health World

Virus – The virus of bird flu detected in Hong Kong

Hong Kong health authorities are slaughtering more than 17,000 chickens at a market after a chicken carcass there was found to be infected with bird flu.
Local authorities have imposed a 21-day embargo on trade in live chickens and imported into mainland China. The alert level has been declared seriously, reached the third level on a scale of five.

The strain of bird flu affects birds but can also affect humans, in whom it is lethal to 60%. Two birds were found positive for H5N1, while people who have gathered have been briefly hospitalized for flu symptoms.

RTHK public television reported a score of students in a school for daughters, aged six and seven, also have flu symptoms but were not hospitalized.

Hong Kong was the first country to experience a significant outbreak of bird flu in 1997. Six people were then killed and millions of slaughtered poultry.

Contamination with the virus have so far been transmitted from animals to humans, but scientists fear that a mutation will allow contamination from human to human.

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