Taiwan man contracts H7N9 bird flu, first outside mainland China

TAIPEI Wed Apr 24, 2013 5:24pm IST

An airport staff member wearing a mask takes a passenger's temperature at Taoyuan International Airport, northern Taiwan, April 24, 2013. REUTERS/Stringer

An airport staff member wearing a mask takes a passenger's temperature at Taoyuan International Airport, northern Taiwan, April 24, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Stringer

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TAIPEI (Reuters) - A 53-year-old Taiwan businessman has contracted the H7N9 strain of bird flu while travelling in China, Taiwan's Health Department said on Wednesday, the first reported case outside of mainland China.

The man was hospitalized after becoming ill three days after returning from Suzhou on April 9, Health Department Minister Wen-Ta Chiu told a news conference. Chiu said the patient was diagnosed with the H7N9 virus and was in serious condition.

Chiu said Taiwan will take appropriate measures, including opening a special out-patient clinic for H7N9 cases.

Taiwan and China have growing business and economic ties, and many businessmen frequently travel across the straits.

As of Tuesday, 108 people had contracted the disease on the mainland since the first deaths were reported last month.

(Reporting by Clare Jim; Editing by Ken Wills)

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