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Bird Flu Hong Kong Case Confirmed

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HONG KONG — Hong Kong has confirmed its first case of human bird flu in seven years.

Health Secretary York Chow said late Wednesday that a 59-year-old woman had tested positive for H5N1 bird flu after returning to Hong Kong from the Chinese mainland, and is in serious condition in a local hospital.

With the announcement, the government raised the bird flu alert to "serious," meaning there is a risk of contracting the disease within the territory.

Chow said Hong Kong officials were meeting Thursday and would determine whether additional measures are needed to safeguard local residents.

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

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