Third case of swine flu in Hong Kong

A 78-year-old woman has become the third case in Hong Kong of swine flu, since the outbreak of the disease in southwest China in recent weeks.

The outbreak began in China's Sichuan province sometime in June, and apparently none of the three people affected had recently travelled outside Hong Kong.

According to a government spokesman, the woman is in a stable condition in hospital.

It appears she developed fever and pain in her left hip on Aug 3rd and was admitted to hospital on Aug 8th.

A government spokesman has said the woman did not consume any raw pork, but they are investigating how she contracted the bacteria, and whether she had recently visited a wet market, or if she had been exposed to raw pork during cooking.

To date, more than 200 people have contracted the disease in Sichuan, from slaughtering, handling or eating infected pigs.

The outbreak has already killed around 650 pigs in the province, but unfortunately instead of disposing of them, many poor farmers ate and even sold them in markets.

Although the outbreak in China's top pork-producing province was first reported in June, it did not surface in the Chinese media until almost a month later.

Streptococcus suis, or swine flu, is in most pig-rearing countries, but human infections are apparently rare.

Despite the fact that China's state media have said no human-to-human infections have been found in Sichuan, the infection rate and death toll is nevertheless considered unusually high.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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