For the 5th time since 2013, Taiwan has reported an imported human H7N9 avian influenza case. According to the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (computer translated), the case has been identified as a 69-year-old man with a history of travel to  Yangjiang, Guangdong Province, China.

China-Taiwan map/Rintojiang
China-Taiwan map/Rintojiang

The Commissioner for Disease Control (DSCD) said that the case presented with fever and chills on January 23, 2006 in Guangdong Province of China. He was admitted to the hospital on 25 January. The confirmation of avian influenza A(H7N9) was made on Saturday.

The Taiwan CDC reiterated its call for both local Taiwanese and people planning to travel to the region to remain vigilant and be sure to implement personal hygiene measures such as hand washing and avoid contact with birds and birds markets. All chicken, duck, goose and eggs should be cooked to avoid infection.

If you return to Taiwan with fever, cough and other flu-like symptoms, you should take the initiative to inform the airline personnel and airport port quarantine personnel; returned to the country after the above symptoms, should wear a mask as soon as possible, and contact physicians and history of exposure.

In addition, officials with the Chinese National Health and Family Planning Commission reported 57 additional human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9), including nine deaths, from January 16 to 29.

The 45 male and 12 female patients aged from 26 to 84 had their onset from January 4 to 29. The cases were from Jiangsu (13 cases), Guangdong (10 cases), Zhejiang (eight cases), Hunan (seven cases), Jiangxi (seven cases), Anhui (six cases), Fujian (four cases) and one case each in Hubei and Sichuan. Among them, 32 reported exposure to poultry or poultry markets while the source of infection of 21 cases was still under investigation.

A spokesman with the Hong Kong Centre for Health Protection (CHP) said, “Since November 2016, the Mainland health authorities have already recorded 298 human H7N9 cases thus far. We would also like to remind the public that human H7N9 cases continue to occur in neighboring Guangdong and the positive percentage for H7 virus of environmental samples is substantial. We again urge the public to pay special attention to health risks of the places of visit.”