16 Apr 2013

Hong Kong, Eight more human cases of Influenza A (H7N9) verified by NHFPC (April 16 2013)

[Source: Centre for Health Protection, Hong Kong PRC SAR, full text: (LINK).]

Eight more human cases of Influenza A (H7N9) verified by NHFPC

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) verified with the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) today (April 16) three human cases of Influenza A (H7N9) in Jiangsu and five in Zhejiang.

The three cases in Jiangsu involve two men aged 56 and 72 and a woman aged 21. They are currently receiving treatment in hospital. The 72-year-old man is in critical condition while the other two patients are in serious condition. The 25 close contacts of the trio are asymptomatic so far.

The five cases in Zhejiang involve two women aged 58 and 72 and three men aged 56, 57 and 62 respectively. They are receiving treatment in hospital and their current condition is critical.

As of 9pm today, a total of 71 cases have been laboratory confirmed with Influenza A (H7N9) in Shanghai (24 cases), Jiangsu (20 cases), Zhejiang (21 cases), Anhui (three cases), Henan (two cases) and Beijing (one case).

A spokesman for the DH stressed that the CHP is closely monitoring the situation and will continue to maintain close liaison with the Mainland health authorities for more case information as well as to keep a close eye on the latest advice from the World Health Organization.

The spokesman also reminded travellers, especially those returning from Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Anhui, Henan and Beijing, with fever or respiratory symptoms to wear facial masks immediately, seek medical attention, and reveal their travel history to doctors. Healthcare professionals should also pay special attention to those who might have had contact with birds, poultry or their droppings in the affected areas.

"No human case of Influenza A (H7N9) has been identified so far in Hong Kong," the spokesman reiterated.

"We would like to reassure the public that the Government will be as transparent as possible in the dissemination of information on human cases of Influenza A (H7N9). Whenever there is a suspected case, the CHP will release information to the public as soon as possible," the spokesman added.

Members of the public should remain vigilant and are reminded to take heed of the following preventive advice against avian influenza:

  • Avoid direct contact with poultry and birds or their droppings. If contact has been made, they should immediately wash hands thoroughly with soap and water;
  • Poultry and eggs should be thoroughly cooked before eating;
  • Wash hands frequently with soap, especially before touching the mouth, nose or eyes, handling food or eating, after going to toilet, touching public installations or equipment such as escalator handrails, elevator control panels or door knobs, or when hands are dirtied by respiratory secretions after coughing or sneezing;
  • Cover the nose and mouth while sneezing or coughing, hold the spit with tissue and put it into covered dustbins;
  • Avoid crowded places and contact with fever patients; and
  • Wear a mask when respiratory symptoms develop or you need to take care of fever patients.

The public may visit the Avian Influenza page of the CHP (www.chp.gov.hk/en/view_content/24244.html) for further information.

Ends/Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Issued at HKT 21:10
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