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Hong Kong official calms bird flu fears

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HONG KONG >> Hong Kong’s health secretary said Thursday there is no increased risk from imported poultry after the territory confirmed its first case of human bird flu in seven years.

York Chow’s comments come amid concern that the case involving a woman hospitalized after returning from mainland China threatens public health in Hong Kong.

Chow said Thursday that he had been assured by Chinese government officials that the poultry Hong Kong imports was safe.

After Hong Kong’s government confirmed the 59-year-old woman’s case Wednesday, it raised the bird flu alert to “serious,” meaning there is risk of contracting the disease within the territory.

The bird flu virus first struck Hong Kong in 1997. Six people died in that outbreak and all chickens were culled.

 

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