Kaohsiung--The first person in Taiwan to be infected with the H7N9 avian flu virus this year remains in critical condition, health officials in Kaohsiung said Monday.
The patient, a 69-year-old Taiwanese businessman based in China, returned to Taiwan in late January and was confirmed Saturday to have an imported infection of H7N9, a subtype of the avian influenza A virus.
Health authorities have monitored 139 people who had contact with the patient but found only one so far who had flu symptoms, and that person's condition improved with treatment, the Kaohsiung Department of Health said.
Department Director-General Huang Joh-Jong (???) said that although the H7N9 virus has not been transmitted from one person to another, his department would stay alert and continue to monitor those who came in contact with the patient.
The patient, who developed a fever on Jan. 23, returned to Kaohsiung from Guangdong Province on Jan. 25 and sought treatment the following day. He was suspected of having a new A-type flu.
He went to a medical center on Jan. 29 after suffering from a fever and shortness of breath and was given Tamiflu, but he did not accept the center's advice to check into the hospital.
The patient's symptoms were not serious, and his initial tests were negative for the H7N9 virus, but doctors stayed up to date on his condition because of the patient's recent travel record.
The patient returned to the medical center on Feb. 1 because his condition had not improved, and he was finally confirmed as being H7N9 positive on Feb. 4.
Chen Yao-sheng (???), director of the Department of Medicine at Kaohsiung Veterans General Hospital, said the patient was not diagnosed as having the H7N9 virus in the first test because his symptoms were not obvious, and Tamiflu had reduced the virus in his body.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel