The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) verified with the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) today (April 18) one human case of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Henan, one in Shanghai, one in Jiangsu and two in Zhejiang.
The case in Henan involves a 38-year-old man who is receiving treatment in hospital. His current condition is serious. The seven close contacts of him are asymptomatic so far.
The case in Shanghai involves an 80-year-old woman who is receiving treatment in hospital. Her current condition is stable. The seven close contacts of her are asymptomatic so far.
The case in Jiangsu involves a 26-year-old woman. The five close contacts of her are asymptomatic so far.
The two cases in Zhejiang involve a 54-year-old woman and a 69-year-old man. They are receiving treatment in hospital and both are in serious condition.
As of 9pm today, a total of 87 cases have been laboratory confirmed with avian influenza A(H7N9) in Shanghai (32 cases), Zhejiang (27 cases), Jiangsu (21 cases), Anhui (three cases), Henan (three 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 avian 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 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 avoid direct contact with poultry, birds or their droppings. If contacts have been made, they should thoroughly wash 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 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/Thursday, April 18, 2013
Issued at HKT 21:21