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First Case of H7N9 Reported in Hong Kong

(Image credit: <a href=''>Chickens</a> via Shutterstock)

A 36-year old woman is the first person in Hong Kong to have become infected with the H7N9 bird flu virus, officials said late Monday.

The woman had recently traveled to the nearby city of Shenzhen in mainland China, where she had purchased live poultry, according to the BBC News. The woman is in critical condition, officials said.

Since the outbreak of H7N9 began in February, 139 people have been sickened with the virus, 45 of whom died, according to the most recent report from the World Health Organization on Nov. 6.

Nearly all cases have appeared on mainland China, but one case was reported in Taiwan in April. In addition to the new case, four other cases have been reported this fall. 

Rachael has been with Live Science since 2010. She has a master's degree in journalism from New York University's Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program. She also holds a B.S. in molecular biology and an M.S. in biology from the University of California, San Diego. Her work has appeared in Scienceline, The Washington Post and Scientific American.