Hong Kong has reported its first case of the H7N9 avian influenza strain, signaling the virus is spreading beyond mainland China since it first emerged in April 2013. The victim is identified as a domestic worker from Indonesia, who has a history of traveling across the border to purchase and slaughter chicken.

The 36-year-old avian influenza patient was reported in critical condition at a hospital in Hong Kong, the Associated Press reported.


Since its discovery in mainland China in 2013, H7N9 avian influenza has caused 139 people in China and Taiwan to become ill and has been fatal to 45 people.

Local governments in China have become more restrictive with live markets in China in an effort to curb the spread of avian influenza. In early December, the Shanghai government announced it would halt live poultry trading from the beginning of the lunar year until late April.