More bird flu patients discharged

Photo above: Three H7N9 bird flu patients, with face masks, attend a ceremony as they are discharged from the Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center on Sunday. The centre still has 12 patients with the H7N9 infection.

CHINA - Three more H7N9 bird flu patients were discharged from a hospital in Shanghai on Sunday.

The three took the total number of recoveries to eight in the city where the virus was first detected and the most patients were reported.

At 2 pm on Sunday, dozens of patients' relatives were waiting at the Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center.

A 54-year-old man surnamed Song from Jiangxi province tested positive for the H7N9 virus on April 13. The man developed a fever on April 8 and was initially diagnosed with pneumonia at Renji Hospital.

"After the treatment, my condition became better and better, and my appetite is also good," said Song, who wore a mask and sunglasses when he spoke to the media.

"I appreciate the efforts made by the doctors. I'm grateful for their work of curing me."

The other two patients, Shanghai natives surnamed Tang, 68, and Li, 67, tested positive for the virus on April 10.

"After intensive medical treatment, these patients' condition returned to normal. Two successive tests showed they are negative for the H7N9 virus and after expert consultation they can be discharged from the hospital," said Zhu Biao, chief expert of Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center.

Zhu said the discharged patients should follow up checks for at least six months to ensure they fully recover from the disease.

So far, there are 12 patients receiving treatment in the centre, including three serious cases. So far, their condition is stable, doctors said.

"Most patients are old and have suffered many chronic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes. This has brought many more difficulties for medical treatment," said Lu Hongzhou, deputy director of the centre.

"Some patients have already tested negative for the H7N9 virus. But they still need to be treated further due to the chronic diseases."

A total of 102 cases had been reported nationwide including 20 deaths, by Sunday.

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