Category Archives: China

China | Hong Kong – Nearly 70 contacts identified after second A(H7N9) avian influenza case

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) today (January 24) reported the latest updates of the second imported human case of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Hong Kong this winter, and again urged the public to maintain strict personal, food and environmental hygiene both locally and during travel.

So far, seven close contacts and 62 other contacts have been identified.

(A) Close contacts

The close contacts have been put under quarantine and prescribed with antiviral presumptive treatment until the completion of the five-day treatment or 10 days after last exposure to the patient, whichever is earlier. They include:

* Two family members who remained asymptomatic;
* An in-patient admitted to the same cubicle as the patient in the Accident and Emergency Department of Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Hospital (AHNH), who was symptomatic and tested positive for Influenza A (H3) virus; and
* Four asymptomatic patients who had attended the private clinic in Tai Po with the patient.

(B) Other contacts

The other contacts have been put under medical surveillance and they include:

* 34 asymptomatic healthcare workers who took care of the patient in AHNH;
* 24 clinic contacts (including patients and staff of the clinic in Tai Po) in which one was symptomatic and tested positive for Influenza A (H3) virus while the rest being asymptomatic;
* An immigration officer involved upon patient’s arrival in Hong Kong, who was symptomatic and tested negative for Influenza A; and
* Three asymptomatic ambulance officers involved in patient transfer.

The Lady MacLehose Holiday Village in Sai Kung under the Leisure and Cultural Services Department is being converted as a quarantine centre. Asymptomatic close contacts will be quarantined there.

Investigations are ongoing. The CHP’s hotline (2125 1111) for public enquiries will operate from 9am to 6pm today and tomorrow (January 25).

China | Hong Kong – Second imported human case of avian flu A(H7N9) this winter

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) is today (January 23) investigating the second imported human case of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Hong Kong this winter.

“Based on the seasonal pattern, it is likely that the activity of avian influenza viruses might further increase in winter and heightened vigilance is warranted. As the Serious Response Level under the Preparedness Plan for Influenza Pandemic remains activated, we again urge the public to maintain strict personal, food and environmental hygiene both locally and during travel,” a spokesman for the CHP said.

Epidemiological investigations and control measures
—————————————————————–
The male patient, aged 79 with good past health, has presented with runny nose, sore throat and cough with sputum since January 19 and consulted a private doctor on the same day. He then attended the Accident and Emergency Department (AED) of Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Hospital yesterday (January 22) and was found febrile. He has been transferred to the Hospital Authority Infectious Disease Centre in Princess Margaret Hospital for further management and isolation and has been in stable condition all along.

His nasopharyngeal aspirate tested positive for avian influenza A(H7N9) upon preliminary laboratory testing by the CHP’s Public Health Laboratory Services Branch.

Initial epidemiological investigations revealed that the patient had travelled to Zhangmutou, Dongguan, Guangdong, on January 5 on his own during which he had visited a wet market with live poultry stalls but with no direct contact with poultry. He returned to Hong Kong on January 19 via Lo Wu Control Point. Based on information available thus far, it is classified as an imported case. Investigations are ongoing.

Contact tracing conducted so far located two close contacts who accompanied the patient to the AED.

(A) Close contacts

Close contacts will be put under quarantine and prescribed with antiviral presumptive treatment until the completion of the five-day treatment or ten days after last exposure to the patient, whichever is earlier. They include the patient’s son and a female family member who are asymptomatic.

(B) Other contacts

Tracing of other contacts, including relevant healthcare workers, ambulance officers, immigration officer and the doctor whom the patient consulted as well as relevant staff and clients, is underway. Other contacts will be put under medical surveillance.

The CHP is communicating with the relevant Mainland health authority to follow up the situation during the patient’s stay in the Mainland.

Enhanced surveillance
—————————-
The CHP has enhanced surveillance of suspected cases in public and private hospitals, and activated electronic reporting system to monitor cases real-time with the Hospital Authority. Clinicians should pay special attention to patients with fever or influenza-like illness who visited wet market with live poultry or had contact with poultry in affected areas within the incubation period, that is ten days before onset.

Letters to doctors, hospitals, kindergartens, child care centres, primary and secondary schools as well as residential care homes for the elderly and the disabled will be issued to alert them to the latest situation.

The case will be notified to the World Health Organization, the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC), the health authorities of Guangdong and Macau, and the quarantine authority of Shenzhen.

To date, 506 cases have been reported by the Mainland health authorities since March 2013, including 489 cases in the Mainland and 17 cases exported to Hong Kong (12 cases), Taiwan (four cases) and Malaysia (one case).

Enhanced port health measures
—————————————
All boundary control points have implemented health surveillance measures. Thermal imaging systems are in place for body temperature checks of inbound travellers. Suspected cases will be immediately referred to public hospitals for follow-up. The DH’s Port Health Office has enhanced body temperature checks by handheld devices.

Regarding health education for travellers, the display of posters and broadcasting of health messages in departure and arrival halls, environmental health inspection and provision of regular updates to the travel industry and other stakeholders will be enhanced.

Risk communication
————————-
The CHP’s hotline (2125 1111) for public enquiries operated till 9pm today and will operate from 9am to 6pm tomorrow (January 24).

Travellers, especially those returning from avian influenza-affected areas with fever or respiratory symptoms, should immediately wear masks, seek medical attention and reveal their travel history to doctors. Healthcare professionals should pay special attention to patients who might have had contact with poultry, birds or their droppings in affected areas.

The public should remain vigilant and take heed of the advice against avian influenza below:

* Do not visit live poultry markets and farms. Avoid contact with poultry, birds and their droppings;
* If contact has been made, thoroughly wash hands with soap;
* Avoid entering areas where poultry may be slaughtered and contact with surfaces which might be contaminated by droppings of poultry or other animals;
* 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 (including escalator handrails, elevator control panels and door knobs); and when hands are dirtied by respiratory secretions after coughing or sneezing;
* Cover the nose and mouth while sneezing or coughing, hold the spit with a tissue and put it into a covered dustbin;
* Avoid crowded places and contact with fever patients; and
* Wear masks when respiratory symptoms develop or when taking care of fever patients.

The public may visit pages below for more information:

* The CHP’s avian influenza page (www.chp.gov.hk/en/view_content/24244.html); and
* Global statistics and affected areas of avian influenza in the CHP’s website (www.chp.gov.hk/files/pdf/global_statistics_avian_influenza_e.pdf)

China | Hong Kong – Flu advice issued as infection rates rise

The Centre for Health Protection has urged the public to raise their guard against influenza, as infection rates rise.

The percentage of specimens testing positive for influenza increased from 9.22% in late December to 29.03% last week, with over 90% involving influenza A (H3N2).

The number of institutional outbreaks rose from eight (affecting 53 people) in the first week of 2015 to 41 last week, affecting 243 people.

Influenza consultation rates at general out-patient clinics and private doctors increased. In general out-patient clinics, the rate rose from 5.3 cases per 1,000 consultations in the first week of 2015 to 7.2 last week, while that among private doctors rose from 39.5 to 57.9.

Since January 2 there have been 70 cases, including 31 deaths, of influenza-associated admission to intensive care units or death among adult patients.

All viruses detected this season are sensitive to antiviral drugs Tamiflu and Relenza.

As of January 18 about 219,000 and 212,000 doses of seasonal influenza vaccines have been administered under the Government Vaccination Programme and the Vaccination Subsidy Schemes 2014-15.

The centre urged the public to heighten vigilance against the infection and to get vaccinated early.

China | 15 additional confirmed cases of human infection with avian flu A(H7N9), including 3 deaths

On 13 January 2015, the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) of China notified WHO of 15 additional laboratory-confirmed cases of human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus, including 3 deaths.

Details of the cases are as follows

  • A 52-year-old female from Fuzhou City, Fujian Province who developed symptoms on 11 December. The patient was admitted to hospital on 16 December and is now in critical condition. The patient had history of exposure to live poultry.
  • A 65-year-old male from Fuzhou City, Fujian Province who developed symptoms on 18 December. The patient was admitted to hospital on 20 December and is now in critical condition. The patient had history of exposure to live poultry.
  • A 73-year-old female from Suzhou city, Jiangsu Province who developed symptoms on 14 December. The patient was admitted to hospital on 18 December and is now in critical condition. The patient had history of exposure to live poultry.
  • A 78-year-old male from Fuzhou City, Fujian Province who developed symptoms on 21 December. The patient was admitted to hospital on 21 December and is now in critical condition. The patient has history of exposure to live poultry.
  • An 83-year-old male from Urumqi City, Xinjiang Province who developed symptoms on 21 December. The patient was admitted to hospital on 21 December but died on 30 December. The patient had history of exposure to live poultry.
  • A 56-year-old male from Jinhua City, Zhejiang Province who developed symptoms on 20 December. The patient was admitted to hospital on 23 December and is now in critical condition. The patient had history of exposure to live poultry.
  • A 75-year-old male from Jinhua City, Zhejiang Province who developed symptoms on 23 December. The patient was admitted to hospital on 23 December but died on 28 December. The patient had history of exposure to live poultry.
  • A 20-year-old female from Shaoxing City, Zhejiang Province who developed symptoms on 21 December. The patient was admitted to hospital on 25 December and is now in critical condition. The patient has history of exposure to live poultry.
  • A 33-year-old female from Jinhua City, Zhejiang Province who developed symptoms on 24 December. The patient was admitted to hospital on 28 December and is now in critical condition. The patient has no history of exposure to live poultry.
  • A 35-year-old female from Shenzhen City, Guangdong Province who developed symptoms on 20 December. The patient was admitted to hospital on 26 December and is now in critical condition. The patient has history of exposure to live poultry.
  • A 52-year-old female from Sanming City, Fujian Province who developed symptoms on 26 December. The patient was admitted to hospital on 26 December and is now in critical condition. The patient has history of exposure to live poultry.
  • A 69-year-old male from Xiamen City, Fujian Province who developed symptoms on 21 December. The patient was admitted to hospital on 25 December and is now in critical condition. The patient has history of exposure to live poultry.
  • A 78-year-old male from Suzhou City, Jiangsu Province who developed symptoms on 26 December 2014. The patient was admitted to hospital on 23 December but died on 4 January 2015. The patient had history of exposure to live poultry.
  • A 37-year-old female from Zhenjiang City, Jiangsu Province who developed symptoms on 21 December. The patient was admitted to hospital on 27 December and is now in critical condition. The patient has history of exposure to live poultry.
  • A 54-year-old female from Zhenjiang City, Jiangsu Province who developed symptoms on 23 December. The patient was admitted to hospital on 29 December and is now in critical condition. The patient has history of exposure to live poultry.

The Chinese Government has taken the following surveillance and control measures

  • Strengthen surveillance and situation analysis.
  • Reinforce case management and medical treatment.
  • Conduct risk communication with the public and release information.

WHO continues to closely monitor the H7N9 situation and conduct risk assessment. So far, the overall risk associated with the H7N9 virus has not changed.

WHO advice

WHO advises that travellers to countries with known outbreaks of avian influenza should avoid poultry farms, or contact with animals in live bird markets, or entering areas where poultry may be slaughtered, or contact with any surfaces that appear to be contaminated with faeces from poultry or other animals. Travellers should also wash their hands often with soap and water. Travellers should follow good food safety and good food hygiene practices.

WHO does not advise special screening at points of entry with regard to this event, nor does it currently recommend any travel or trade restrictions. As always, a diagnosis of infection with an avian influenza virus should be considered in individuals who develop severe acute respiratory symptoms while travelling or soon after returning from an area where avian influenza is a concern.

WHO encourages countries to continue strengthening influenza surveillance, including surveillance for severe acute respiratory infections (SARI) and to carefully review any unusual patterns, in order to ensure reporting of human infections under the IHR (2005), and continue national health preparedness actions.

China | Five additional human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9)

Five additional human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Shanghai (one case), Shandong (one case), Jiangxi (one case), and Guangdong (two cases).

According to the latest reports of the Mainland health authorities, the patient in Shandong is a 60-year-old man who worked in Jiangsu before onset of illness, while the patient in Jiangxi is a 34-year-old man who was hospitalised for treatment in critical condition.

According to the notification of the Health and Family Planning Commission of Guangdong Province, the two cases involved a 66-year-old man in Shenzhen who is currently in critical condition, and a 1-year-old girl in Shanwei who had recovered.

According to the latest report of the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Health and Family Planning, the patient in Shanghai is a 69-year-old man who is currently under treatment.

To date, 483 human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) have been reported by the Mainland health authorities, respectively in Zhejiang (145 cases), Guangdong (123 cases), Jiangsu (63 cases), Shanghai (43 cases), Fujian (28 cases), Hunan (24 cases), Anhui (17 cases), Xinjiang (nine cases), Jiangxi (nine cases), Shandong (six cases), Beijing (five cases),  Henan (four cases), Guangxi (three cases), Jilin (two cases), Guizhou (one case) and Hebei (one case).

China | Hong Kong – Health officials monitoring 78 contacts after H7 bird flu confirmed in marketplace

Vital signs:

  • live chickens imported from the Mainland tested positive for avian influenza A(H7) virus
  • 78 contacts identified and being monitored
  • concerns about ‘genetic reassortment’ of the virus among poultry workers

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (December 31) reported the latest updates on contact tracing after samples of live chickens imported from the Mainland tested positive for avian influenza A(H7) virus, and again urged the public to maintain strict personal, food and environmental hygiene both locally and during travel.

In collaboration with the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department and the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, the CHP’s epidemiological investigations have so far identified one close contact who is a poultry worker at Cheung Sha Wan Temporary Wholesale Poultry Market (CSWTWPM), and 77 other contacts including a lorry driver who transported the involved consignment of live chickens, poultry workers and staff at CSWTWPM and Man Kam To Animal Inspection Station, and workers involved in the poultry culling operation.

The CHP is tracing these contacts and will monitor their health conditions. Among them, a member of staff at CSWTWPM developed sore throat and his specimen tested negative for influenza A virus.

“Enhanced surveillance of suspected human cases in public and private hospitals is ongoing,” a spokesman for the CHP remarked.

“Poultry workers, who have prolonged exposure to live poultry, might have higher risks of contracting the virus from infected poultry and hence increased risks of genetic reassortment of the virus. Poultry workers have been recommended by the CHP’s Scientific Committee on Vaccine Preventable Diseases as one of the priority groups and have been covered in the Government Vaccination Programme under which they are eligible for free influenza vaccination. We advise them to get vaccinated early as it is one of the effective means to prevent influenza-associated complications and hospitalisations,” the spokesman added.

Letters to doctors and hospitals will be issued to alert them to the latest situation.

The National Health and Family Planning Commission and the health authorities of Guangdong and Macau have been informed.

Poultry workers and cullers in doubt may call the CHP’s avian influenza hotline (2125 1111) for enquiries and it operates from 9am to 6pm.

China | Hong Kong – Live poultry imported from Mainland tested positive for H7 avian influenza virus

Vital signs:

  • Chickens from farm in Huicheng District of Huizhou positive for H7 bird flu
  • Imported into Hong Kong
  • Cheung Sha Wan Temporary Wholesale Poultry Market declared as infected place
  • 15000 birds to be culled immediately

The Government today (December 31) confirmed that a number of samples from a consignment of live chickens from a registered farm in Huicheng District of Huizhou in Guangdong were positive in H7 avian influenza (AI) Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests.

The Secretary for Food and Health, Dr Ko Wing-man, said that the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government (HKSARG) had decided to implement contingency measures in accordance with the Preparedness Plan for Influenza Pandemic on the Serious Response Level to prevent the virus from spreading and safeguard public health.

The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) has declared the Cheung Sha Wan Temporary Wholesale Poultry Market as an infected place. All of the some 15 000 live poultry in the market will be culled starting from this morning. The market will also be closed for 21 days (counting from the next day following completion of the culling operation) for thorough cleansing and disinfection. During the closure period, trading of live poultry will be suspended.

“During the closure of the wholesale market, AFCD would inspect all local farms and collect more samples for testing. Upon confirmation that all local chicken farms are not affected by AI, local chickens could be dispatched to retail points via the Ta Kwu Ling Checkpoint,” Dr Ko said.

In accordance with the consensus reached with the Mainland on the handling of H7 AI cases, the HKSAR Government has notified the relevant Mainland authorities of the incident to facilitate investigation of the source of infection. Supply of live poultry from the index registered farm would be suspended, during which the relevant inspection and quarantine authorities will conduct investigation at the farm concerned and ascertain that the farm has met all of the biosecurity and management requirements. Upon expiry of the 21-day suspension period, the relevant inspection and quarantine authorities will notify the HKSAR Government of the investigation result. The farm concerned will resume supply of live poultry to Hong Kong only upon acceptance of the investigation result by both sides.

AFCD, the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department and the  Centre for Food Safety (CFS) will also strengthen the surveillance and control measures against H7N9 along the supply chain of live poultry.

Dr Ko stressed, “The HKSAR Government has built up a resilient and stringent system and collaborated closely with the Mainland authorities for the surveillance and control of AI. We have since April 2013 introduced the PCR testing for H7 AI, and since January 2014 introduced the H7 serological testing to strengthen early warning against AI.”

“All live poultry supplied to Hong Kong markets, whether locally reared or imported, are subject to stringent inspection and quarantine procedures.  Animal health certificates would be issued only if the test results are satisfactory. Prior to leaving the farms, the poultry are put under quarantine and are required to pass PCR and serology tests for AI to show that the poultry carry sufficient level of antibodies against H5; are free of any AI virus and do not bear AI clinical symptoms.

“After the live poultry have entered Hong Kong, CFS will collect blood and swab samples from the live poultry at the Man Kam To Animal Inspection Station and pass the samples to AFCD’s Veterinary Laboratory for testing. The detection of positive H7 AI samples in imported live poultry in the current case demonstrates that the testing system has achieved what it is designed to do, namely reducing the risk of infected birds entering our retail markets and performing its gate-keeping role for protecting public health,” he added.

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health would contact poultry wholesalers and workers in the Man Kam To Animal Inspection Station and the Cheung Sha Wan Temporary Wholesale Poultry Market to follow up on their health condition. CHP and the Hospital Authority will remind all doctors in Hong Kong and healthcare workers in public hospitals to stay vigilant and should report immediately if there is any suspected avian influenza case.

Dr Ko appealed to the public again to maintain good personal and environmental hygiene, including washing hands frequently, wearing masks when feeling unwell, avoiding contact with live poultry or visiting live poultry markets in the affected districts, revealing their travel history to doctors and not bringing poultry to Hong Kong illegally, which are important and effective measures for preventing diseases.

China | First human case of H7N9 in Hong Kong this winter – Emergency measures being taken by hospitals

H7N9 virus

Vital signs:

  • First confirmed human case of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Hong Kong this winter
  • A 68-year-old woman in critical condition
  • 12 close contacts have been placed in quarantine
  • 2 travel contacts still being sought
  • Activation of the Serious Response Level (SRL) under the Preparedness Plan for Influenza Pandemic
  • Number of human cases of H7N9 in Mainland China increasing

The Department of Health (DH) today (December 28) reported the latest updates of the first confirmed human case of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Hong Kong this winter, and again urged the public to maintain strict personal, food and environmental hygiene both locally and during travel.

Epidemiological investigations and control measures
—————————————————

Epidemiological investigations by the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the DH so far located 12 close contacts and 47 other contacts of the patient.

(A) Close contacts

The close contacts have been put under quarantine and prescribed with antiviral presumptive treatment until the completion of the five-day treatment or ten days after last exposure to the patient, whichever is earlier. They include:

* Seven family members (revised from nine after further enquiries) in which one was symptomatic and tested negative for H7 virus while the rest being asymptomatic; and
* Five in-patients admitted to the same cubicle as the patient in Tuen Mun Hospital (TMH) in which one was symptomatic and tested negative for H7 virus while the rest being asymptomatic.

Two travel collaterals are yet to be reached and follow-up is underway.

(B) Other contacts

The other contacts have been put under medical surveillance and they include:

* A total of 42 healthcare workers who took care of the patient in TMH in which two were symptomatic and tested negative for H7 virus while the rest being asymptomatic;
* Three asymptomatic ambulance officers involved in patient transfer; and
* Two asymptomatic visitors of the cubicle to which the patient was admitted.

The two private doctors whom the patient consulted are yet to be reached and follow-up is underway.

The CHP is communicating with the health authorities of Guangdong Province to follow up the situation during the patient’s stay in the Mainland.

As the patient did not visit any wet markets or contact live poultry in Hong Kong during the incubation period, based on information available thus far, it is classified as an imported case. Investigations are ongoing.

The Lady MacLehose Holiday Village in Sai Kung under the Leisure and Cultural Services Department is being converted as a quarantine centre. Asymptomatic close contacts will be quarantined there.

Upon activation of the Serious Response Level (SRL) under the Preparedness Plan for Influenza Pandemic last night (December 27), the DH immediately commenced enhanced surveillance, enhanced port health measures and risk communication accordingly.

Enhanced surveillance
———————

The CHP has enhanced surveillance of suspected cases in public and private hospitals, and will activate electronic reporting system to monitor cases real-time with the Hospital Authority. Clinicians should pay special attention to patients with fever or influenza-like illness who visited wet market with live poultry or had contact with poultry in affected areas within the incubation period, that is 10 days before onset.

Letters to doctors, hospitals, kindergartens, child care centres, primary and secondary schools as well as residential care homes for the elderly and the disabled have been issued to alert them to the latest situation.

The case has been notified to the World Health Organization, the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC), the health authorities of Guangdong and Macau, and the quarantine authority of Shenzhen.

As winter approached, the number of human cases of H7N9 in the Mainland has been increasing. As of yesterday, 16 cases with onsets since September were notified to the CHP by the NHFPC. Based on the seasonal pattern, it is likely that the activity of avian influenza viruses might further increase in winter and heightened vigilance is warranted.

As of yesterday, 470 cases (including at least 184 deaths) have been reported since March 2013, including 454 cases in the Mainland and 16 cases exported to Hong Kong (eleven cases), Taiwan (four cases) and Malaysia (one case).

Enhanced port health measures
—————————–

All boundary control points have implemented health surveillance measures. Thermal imaging systems are in place for body temperature checks of inbound travellers. Suspected cases will be immediately referred to public hospitals for follow-up. The DH’s Port Health Office has enhanced body temperature checks by handheld devices.

Regarding health education for travellers, the display of posters and broadcasting of health messages in departure and arrival halls, environmental health inspection and provision of regular updates to the travel industry and other stakeholders will be enhanced.

Risk communication
——————

The CHP’s hotline (2125 1111) for public enquiries has been set up and will operate from 9am to 6pm today and tomorrow. The CHP’s main page (www.chp.gov.hk/en) has been updated with the activation of the SRL.

Travellers, especially those returning from avian influenza-affected areas with fever or respiratory symptoms, should immediately wear masks, seek medical attention and reveal their travel history to doctors. Healthcare professionals should pay special attention to patients who might have had contact with poultry, birds or their droppings in affected areas.

The public should remain vigilant and take heed of the advice against avian influenza below:

* Do not visit live poultry markets and farms. Avoid contact with poultry, birds and their droppings;
* If contact has been made, thoroughly wash hands with soap;
* Avoid entering areas where poultry may be slaughtered and contact with surfaces which might be contaminated by droppings of poultry or other animals;
* 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 (including escalator handrails, elevator control panels and door knobs); and when hands are dirtied by respiratory secretions after coughing or sneezing;
* Cover the nose and mouth while sneezing or coughing, hold the spit with a tissue and put it into a covered dustbin;
* Avoid crowded places and contact with fever patients; and
* Wear masks when respiratory symptoms develop or when taking care of fever patients.

The public may visit pages below for more information:

* The CHP’s avian influenza page (www.chp.gov.hk/en/view_content/24244.html); and
* Global statistics and affected areas of avian influenza in the CHP’s website (www.chp.gov.hk/files/pdf/global_statistics_avian_influenza_e.pdf).

 

China | CHP notified of seven additional human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Mainland

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) today (December 22) received notification of seven additional human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (Xinjiang) (four cases), Zhejiang (two cases) and Jiangsu (one case) from the National Health and Family Planning Commission.

The patients comprise five men and two women aged from 36 to 81. Four of them (three from Xinjiang and one from Jiangsu) died while two of them (one from Xinjiang and one from Zhejiang) are currently in serious condition. The remaining case from Zhejiang is now in mild condition and did not require hospitalisation.

To date, 454 human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) have been confirmed in the Mainland in Zhejiang (141 cases), Guangdong (111 cases), Jiangsu (59 cases), Shanghai (42 cases), Hunan (24 cases), Fujian (23 cases), Anhui (17 cases), Jiangxi (eight cases), Xinjiang (eight cases), Beijing (five cases), Shandong (five cases), Henan (four cases), Guangxi (three cases), Jilin (two cases), Guizhou (one case) and Hebei (one case).

China | Notification of confirmed human case of avian influenza A(H5N6) in Guangdong

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) has been notified by the Health and Family Planning Commission of Guangdong Province of a confirmed human case of avian influenza A(H5N6) today (December 23) affecting a 58-year-old man in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province.

The patient, who is in critical condition, is currently receiving treatment in a hospital in Guangzhou. No abnormality was reported among the close contacts of the patient.

“All novel influenza A infections (including H5N6) are notifiable diseases in Hong Kong,” a spokesman for the DH said.

“Locally, we will remain vigilant and work closely with the World Health Organization and relevant health authorities to monitor the latest developments,” the spokesman said.

“In view of cases confirmed on the Mainland, members of the public should maintain good personal, food and environmental hygiene at all times during travel,” the spokesman urged.

“All boundary control points have implemented disease prevention and control measures. Thermal imaging systems are in place for body temperature checks of inbound travellers. Suspected cases will be immediately referred to public hospitals for follow-up investigation,” the spokesman added.

Regarding health education for travellers, the display of posters and broadcast of health messages in departure and arrival halls, environmental health inspection and provision of regular updates to the travel industry via meetings and correspondence are proceeding.

Travellers, especially those returning from avian influenza-affected areas with fever or respiratory symptoms, should immediately wear masks, seek medical attention and reveal their travel history to doctors. Healthcare professionals should pay special attention to patients who might have had contact with poultry, birds or their droppings in affected areas.

The public should remain vigilant and take heed of the advice against avian influenza below:

* Do not visit live poultry markets and farms. Avoid contact with poultry, birds and their droppings;
* If contact has been made, thoroughly wash hands with soap;
* Avoid entering areas where poultry may be slaughtered and contact with surfaces which might be contaminated by droppings of poultry or other animals;
* 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 (including escalator handrails, elevator control panels and door knobs); and when hands are dirtied by respiratory secretions after coughing or sneezing;
* Cover the nose and mouth while sneezing or coughing, hold the spit with a tissue and put it into a covered dustbin;
* Avoid crowded places and contact with fever patients; and
* Wear masks when respiratory symptoms develop or when taking care of fever patients.

The public may visit the avian influenza page of the CHP of the DH (www.chp.gov.hk/en/view_content/24244.html) for more information on avian influenza. The updated information of affected areas can be found on the following webpage: www.chp.gov.hk/files/pdf/global_statistics_avian_influenza_e.pdf