Taipei - Taiwan is monitoring 163 residents who had recent close contact with a Chinese tourist infected with H7N9 bird flu, the Centres for Disease Control (CDC) said on Thursday.
The 86-year-old tourist was hospitalised when he travelled to Taiwan in December, according to the CDC.
On December 31, it confirmed the patient was infected by the H7N9 strain of bird flu virus.
The Chinese man been in contact with a total of 663 people in Taiwan, CDC Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang was quoted as saying by the state-run Central News Agency (CNA).
The CDC was monitoring 163 people who might have been in close contact with him, it said. Fifty-five of those have had preventative treatment, including three medical personnel showing symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections.
These people should monitor their condition for two weeks while awaiting tests results, Chuang said.
The symptoms were common during the flu season, he said. It is not easy for the H7N9 strain virus to be transmitted between humans, CNA quoted him as saying.
The tourist, from the eastern Chinese province of Jiangsu, was in stable condition in a Taiwan hospital. - Sapa-dpa