HONG KONG - Hong Kong has recorded its first fatal case of swine flu with the death of a 42-year-old man, health officials announced Thursday.
The man, who has not been named but is believed to be a Filipino seaman, died in the city’s Ruttonjee Hospital last Friday and was initially thought to have been killed by the bacterial infection MRSA.
However, the Hong Kong Health Department said further tests showed the man also had swine flu and he has now been recognised as the city’s first fatal case of the H1N1 virus.
Hong Kong, which has a population of seven million, has seen 1,467 cases of swine flu. As of Tuesday evening, 15 patients were in hospital being treated for more serious strains of the disease.
Hong Kong took strict anti-virus measures as soon as the global outbreak began, quarantining 300 guests and staff in a hotel for a week when the first imported case of the virus was discovered in May.
The densely-populated former British colony is particularly sensitive to virus outbreaks after the severe acute respiratory syndrome or SARS outbreak killed 299 people and infected around 1,800 in 2003.