Hong Kong on Alert After Woman Catches Bird Flu

Indonesian woman in critical condition after apparently being infected with H7N9 strand during visit to neighboring Chinese city of Shenzhen

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Tyrone Siu / Reuters

An airport security personnel takes a body temperature reading of a boy as he arrives at Hong Kong International Airport April 9,2013.

Hong Kong has confirmed its first human case of potentially deadly H7N9 bird flu, and raised its influenza pandemic response level from “alert” to “serious.”

A 36-year-old Indonesian domestic worker was hospitalized with the virus on Nov. 27 after apparently being in contact with live poultry in the nearby Chinese city of Shenzhen last month, reports the Wall Street Journal. She is currently in a critical condition, and those who have been in close contact with her have also been isolated for further observation.

The H7N9 strain of bird flu was first confirmed to have infected humans in March, after Chinese state media blamed the virus for two deaths. Since then, there have been 139 confirmed cases and 45 deaths, according to the World Health Organization, but the number of infections has dropped significantly in recent months.