Hong Kong confirmed its first case of deadly H7N9 bird flu on Monday (December 2) in a further sign that the virus is continuing to spread beyond the borders of mainland China.

Hong Kong's Food and Health Secretary, Dr Ko Wing-man said an Indonesian national had been infected.

"We have just confirmed the first human case of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Hong Kong. The victim is a 36-year-old Indonesian domestic helper. She has a history of travelling to Shenzhen, buying a chicken, slaughtering and eating the chicken," he told reporters late on Monday.

He added that four people who have been in close contact with her show signs of flu-like symptoms.

"She is now in critical condition at Queen Mary Hospital. Her home contacts will be admitted to Princess Margaret Hospital for isolation and testing. We have also escalated the response level of our Preparedness Plan for Influenza Pandemic to 'Serious'", he said adding that test results from the four will be available earliest by Wednesday (December 4).

The case coincides with the 10th anniversary of the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, which killed nearly 300 people in Hong Kong and had a significant impact on the city's travel and retail industry.

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