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CDC monitoring those who had contact with mainland H7N9 patient

TAIPEI -- The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said yesterday that it is keeping a close eye on 96 people who came in contact with a Chinese tourist confirmed a day earlier to be infected with H7N9 avian flu.

One of the 96 people has been plagued by fatigue and developed a fever and is undergoing further checkups and tests, with the results expected later in the day, the CDC said.

Among the other 95 people, measures to prevent the spread of the disease have been taken to help 48 of them, said Christine Liu, director of the CDC's Epidemic Intelligence Center.

The monitoring of the 96 people — comprising the patient's family members, tourists in the same tour group and some passengers on the patient's flight to Taiwan — will likely conclude on April 30, the CDC said.

The patient, who was confirmed on Tuesday as the third imported H7N9 case in Taiwan, is a 44-year-old woman from China's Jiangsu province.

Still in serious condition in an intensive care unit, she had a dry cough and muscle soreness when she arrived in Taiwan and went to a clinic in New Taipei to be treated the same day.

On April 18, she developed nausea and a fever and went to a hospital the following day. An X-ray showed that she had pneumonia and pleural effusion (in which excess fluid builds around the lungs).

On April 20, she was taken to a medical center by her tour group leader and was given tamiflu. The medical center then notified the CDC of a suspected H7N9 avian flu case.

Other members of the group have continued their planned itinerary in Taiwan and are scheduled to depart on April 24.

Taiwan confirmed its first and second imported H7N9 cases from China on April 24 and Dec. 31 last year.

Since April 3, 2013, 576 suspected H7N9 cases have been reported, but only three have been confirmed, with the December case proving fatal. The other 573 suspected cases tested negative.

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