The 57-year-old wife of the city’s first avian influenza virus (AIV) victim tested negative for the H7N9 strain, the Health Bureau (SSM) said in a statement on Wednesday.
The victim, a 58-year-old poultry stall owner at the Nan Yue Supply Market, tested positive for the virus on Tuesday after handling infected chickens that morning.
SSM officials contacted the man in the afternoon at his home in Ilha Verde after discovering the H7N9 strain in silkie chicken samples at the market earlier on Tuesday. The bureau later confirmed that he was the only local who had been in close contact with the infected poultry.
Lam Chong, who heads the SSM Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, said the victim had only been in close physical contact with his wife while they were working at the stall after which he went home to rest, from where was directly taken to an isolation ward at the public Conde de Sao Januario Hospital Centre (CHCSJ) in an ambulance on Tuesday.
Lam made the remarks during a special press conference at the hospital early Wednesday’s morning, where SSM Director Lei Chin Ion insisted that the virus was unlikely to spread in the community.
The couple has remained in quarantine, the man for treatment and his wife for further observation. Neither of them has displayed any symptoms, according to the statement.
A male driver from the mainland who had brought the infected poultry to the city has been contacted by the Guangdong Health Department and is being tested for the virus, according to the statement.
The bureau culled all live poultry in the supply market on Tuesday night and prohibited with immediate effect all sales of live poultry in the city until the source of the infected poultry is identified.