5 Jul 2013

Hong Kong, Additional lookback case of human infection of avian influenza A(H7N9) verified by NHFPC (July 5 2013)

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

Additional lookback case of human infection of avian 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 today (July 5) an additional lookback case of human infection of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Jiangsu affecting a 15-year-old boy.

The patient became ill on April 25 and was hospitalised on the following day. He has recovered and was discharged on May 2.

To date, a total of 132 human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) have been laboratory confirmed in the Mainland, including:

  1. Zhejiang (46 cases),
  2. Shanghai (33 cases),
  3. Jiangsu (28 cases),
  4. Jiangxi (six cases),
  5. Fujian (five cases),
  6. Anhui (four cases),
  7. Henan (four cases),
  8. Shandong (two cases),
  9. Hunan (two cases) and
  10. Beijing (two cases).

A DH spokesman remarked that the CHP is closely monitoring the situation and maintaining close liaison with the Mainland health authorities for case details, as well as keeping a close eye on the latest advice from the World Health Organization.

Travellers, especially those returning from Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Anhui, Henan, Beijing, Shandong, Jiangxi, Fujian, Hunan or Guangdong, with fever or respiratory symptoms are reminded to immediately wear facial masks, seek medical attention, and reveal their travel history to doctors. Health-care professionals should also pay special attention to patients who might have had contact with birds, poultry or their droppings in affected areas.

"Locally, no confirmed human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) have been recorded so far," the spokesman stressed.

"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 avian influenza A(H7N9). Whenever there is a suspected case, the CHP will release information to the public as soon as possible," the spokesman added.

The spokesman urged travellers not to visit wet markets with live poultry in the affected areas and to avoid direct contact with poultry, birds or their droppings. If contact has been made, they should thoroughly wash their hands with soap and water.

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

  • 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 the toilet or 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, and hold the spit with a tissue and put it into a covered dustbin;
  • Avoid crowded places and contact with fever patients; and
  • Wear a mask when respiratory symptoms develop or when taking care of fever patients.

The public may visit the CHP's avian influenza page (www.chp.gov.hk/en/view_content/24244.html) for further information.

Ends/Friday, July 5, 2013
Issued at HKT 17:51
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