The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health received notification from the National Health and Family Planning Commission (the Commission) tonight (April 4) concerning three more confirmed human cases of influenza A (H7N9).
A CHP spokesman said the three cases involved a 67-year-old woman, who is in critical condition; a 4-year-old boy, who is in satisfactory condition; and a 52-year-old female patient who passed away yesterday (April 3).
Laboratory tests on the three patients' specimens by the Mainland health authorities yielded a positive result for H7N9.
According to the Commission, no epidemiological link between the three cases was identified. So far, except a close contact of the 52-year-old female patient developed fever and runny nose, no abnormality was detected among the other 51 close contacts of three cases.
The spokesman said that influenza A (H7) is a statutorily notifiable infectious disease in Hong Kong. The CHP is maintaining close liaison with the Mainland health authorities to obtain more information on the cases.
"We will heighten our vigilance and continue to maintain stringent port health measures in connection with this development," the spokesman said.
The spokesman also advised travellers especially those returning from Shanghai, Anhui, Jiangsu and Zhejiang with respiratory symptoms to wear facial masks and seek medical attention and reveal their travel histories to doctors. Health-care professionals should also pay special attention to those travellers who might have contact with birds or poultry in the four places.
The spokesman reminded members of the public to remain vigilant against avian influenza infection and to observe the following measures:
* Avoid direct contact with poultry and birds or their droppings; if contacts have been made, they should wash hands thoroughly with soap and water;
* Poultry and eggs should be thoroughly cooked before eating;
* Wash hands frequently;
* Cover nose and mouth while sneezing or coughing, hold the spit with tissue and put it into covered dustbins;
* Avoid crowded places and contact with sick people with fever;
* Wear a mask when you have respiratory symptoms or need to take care of patients with fever; and
* When you have fever and influenza-like illnesses during a trip or when coming back to Hong Kong, you should consult doctors promptly and reveal your travel history.
For further information on avian influenza, please visit the CHP's website (www.chp.gov.hk).
Ends/Thursday, April 4, 2013
Issued at HKT 23:51