Hong Kong on Alert Over Bird Flu

Posted on January 3, 2012

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HONG KONG—Health authorities in Hong Kong are urging residents to take steps to ensure personal hygiene, and the city remains on high alert following the bird-flu-related death of a man in mainland China.

Renewed fears in Hong Kong came as Chinese authorities said preliminary tests showed the Shenzhen man, whose death Saturday was China’s first human case of bird flu in 18 months, was infected with the deadly H5N1 strain of the virus—as was a dead bird found in Hong Kong’s New Territories before the holidays.

A spokesman for Hong Kong’s Centre for Health Protection said Tuesday that the health department is in close contact with its Chinese counterpart and urged vigilance by people in Hong Kong to prevent new infections. On Saturday, the government suspended imports of live poultry and poultry products from parts of neighboring Shenzhen for three weeks in a bid to reduce the likelihood of an outbreak.

Authorities said Tuesday that two more migratory birds discovered dead in Hong Kong were found to be infected with the bird flu, though further tests are needed to determine whether it’s H5N1 or the less dangerous H5 strain.

The Wall Street Journal

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