[Source: Secretary for Food and Health, Hong Kong PRC SAR, full text: (LINK).]
SFH on enterovirus infections
Following is the transcript of remarks made by the Secretary for Food and Health, Dr Ko Wing-man, after attending the meeting of the Panel on Food Safety and Environmental Hygiene of the Legislative Council this morning (July 11):
Reporter: (On enterovirus infections in Cambodia and Hong Kong.)
Secretary for Food and Health: Indeed there are several incidents of infectious disease outbreak which have caused our concern and we are closely monitoring the situation. In Cambodia, there are more than 50 cases in which children suffered illness and died. We understand that the World Health Organisation (WHO) is assisting the country to examine the specimens, hopefully to come up with a clear situation of the outbreak. But up to this moment, most of the specimens being tested turn out to be enterovirus EV71. The finding also matched with the clinical symptoms and presentations of the patients concerned. As to the exact nature of this outbreak, whether there could be other pathogens involved, we have to wait for the report from the WHO. According to our knowledge, there has been no increase of new cases ever since the incident was notified to the WHO.
For our local situation, the Centre for Health Protection announced yesterday that they were investigating two cases of enterovirus infection but so far these cases are not EV71. As we all know, there are different types of enterovirus and both of these cases are imported cases.
Nevertheless, in the light of all these outbreaks, including the recent detection of avian influenza H5N1 in Bird Street, I would like to remind the citizens to remain vigilant in terms of food and personal hygiene. If we are travelling outside Hong Kong, special precautions must be taken as far as the food that we are going to eat as well as our personal hygiene. People who have returned to Hong Kong with symptoms, particularly fever, should seek medical attention.
Reporter: (On the two imported cases of severe paediatric enterovirus infection.)
Secretary for Food and Health: I cannot comment on the purpose of the two patients coming to Hong Kong. But it is a fact that these two cases were classified as imported cases.
Reporter: (On the suggestion that the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department should implement policy to regulate caged birds imported into Hong Kong to prevent bird flu.)
Secretary for Food and Health: All the imported birds are required to have a (health) certificate of their exporting place.
(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)
Ends/Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Issued at HKT 12:54