The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) today (January 16) received notification of seven additional human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) respectively in Guangzhou (one case) and Foshan (one case) from the Health and Family Planning Commission of Guangdong Province and in Fujian (two cases), Guizhou (one case) and Zhejiang (two cases) from the National Health and Family Planning Commission.
In Guangzhou, the patient is a 59-year-old man who is still hospitalised in a local hospital. The case in Foshan involves a 76-year-old woman who is in critical condition and under treatment in a local hospital.
The first case in Fujian involves a 30-year-old man who lives in Quanzhou. He is currently under treatment in a local hospital and his condition is critical. The second case involves a 60-year-old man with poultry contact history who lives in Quanzhou. He is currently under treatment in a local hospital and his condition is serious.
The patient of Guizhou is a 38-year-old man. He became ill when he was working in Zhejiang. He was admitted to a hospital in Guizhou on January 8 and died the next day.
In Zhejiang, the first case involves a 20-year-old woman who lives in Hangzhou. She is currently under treatment in a local hospital and her condition is critical. The other case involves a 58-year-old man who is under treatment in a hospital in Taizhou. He is currently in critical condition.
As of 9pm today, a total of 183 human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) have been confirmed in the Mainland, including Zhejiang (65 cases), Shanghai (37 cases), Jiangsu (30 cases), Guangdong (20 cases), Fujian (nine cases), Jiangxi (six cases), Anhui (four cases), Henan (four cases), Beijing (two cases), Hunan (two cases), Shandong (two cases), Hebei (one case) and Guizhou (one case, imported from Zhejiang).
The CHP will follow up with the Mainland health authorities for more case details.
"Locally, enhanced disease surveillance, port health measures and health education against avian influenza are ongoing. We will remain vigilant and maintain liaison with the World Health Organization (WHO) and relevant health authorities. Local surveillance activities will be modified upon the WHO's recommendations," a spokesman for the DH said.
"All boundary control points have implemented disease prevention and control measures. Thermal imaging systems are in place for body temperature checks of inbound travellers. Random temperature checks by handheld devices will also be arranged. Suspected cases will be immediately referred to public hospitals for follow-up investigation," the spokesman added.
Regarding health education for travellers, distribution of pamphlets, display of posters in departure and arrival halls, in-flight public announcements, environmental health inspections and provision of regular updates to the travel industry via meetings and correspondence are all proceeding.
"Travellers, especially those returning from avian influenza-affected areas and provinces with fever or respiratory symptoms, should immediately wear masks, seek medical attention and reveal their travel history to doctors. Health-care professionals should pay special attention to patients who might have had contact with poultry, birds or their droppings in affected areas and provinces," the spokesman advised.
Members of the public should remain vigilant and take heed of the preventive advice against avian influenza below:
* Do not visit live poultry markets. Avoid contact with poultry, birds and their droppings. If contact has been made, thoroughly wash hands with soap;
* 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); 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 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 CHP's avian influenza page (www.chp.gov.hk/en/view_content/24244.html) and website (www.chp.gov.hk/files/pdf/global_statistics_avian_influenza_e.pdf) for more information on avian influenza-affected areas and provinces.
Ends/Thursday, January 16, 2014
Issued at HKT 22:38