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CDC confirms 4th case of imported H7N9 influenza

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday announced the fourth confirmed imported H7N9 influenza case currently receiving medical treatment.

According to the CDC, this is the second confirmed H7N9 case this week.

The CDC said that the newly confirmed H7N9 case is a 39-year-old Taiwanese businessman who works in China. He went to Beijing and Jiangsu from March 31 to April 19 this year.

After he returned to Taiwan on April 19, the CDC said, he began developing a fever and had problems breathing; he went to a clinic and a hospital for treatment and to a medical center on April 23.

The CDC said that the medical center took a sample from the patient for an H7N9 test but it was negative. When he continued showing signs of influenza, the CDC said, the center took a sample from his phlegm and reported the case to the CDC.

According to the CDC, the case was confirmed to be an H7N9 influenza case yesterday and the man is now being treated in an isolated intensive care unit.

Based on the initial investigation, the CDC said, the 39-year-old did not have contact with animals, nor did he enter markets with live fowl on his trip, so the source of H7N9 infection still needs to be confirmed.

The CDC said that so far, the patient's three living family members and a coworker who picked him up from the airport have not shown signs of H7N9, and he had not been to any public areas since his return.

As for the 57 medical personnel and eight passengers who had contact with him, the CDC said, officials will evaluate whether or not they need to be treated with anti-viral medicine.

Taiwan confirmed its first and second H7N9 cases imported 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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