Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Email this article
CHP closely monitors second human case of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Canada

     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) is today (February 1) closely monitoring the second human case of avian influenza A(H7N9) reported by Canada, and again urged the public to maintain strict personal, food and environmental hygiene both locally and during travel.

     "This is the second case reported in North America to date. We will remain vigilant and work closely with neighbouring and overseas health authorities to monitor the latest developments," a spokesman for the CHP said.

     According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, this case and the previous case (reported on January 26) are a couple who are residents of British Columbia. They recently travelled to China together and were not symptomatic during travel. They returned to Canada on January 12 by Air Canada flight AC 008. They only began showing symptoms after arrival in Canada. They did not require hospitalisation and are currently recovering from their illness. All evidence indicates they were infected following exposure in Mainland China. Since the two cases became symptomatic one day apart, it is likely they were exposed to a common source, rather than one having been infected by the other. All close contacts of them have been identified and their health conditions were being monitored by provincial public health authorities. Public health officials have completed their follow-up of contacts and there has been no further spread.

     To date, 523 cases have been reported globally since March 2013, including 504 cases in the Mainland and 19 cases exported to Hong Kong (12 cases), Taiwan (four cases), Malaysia (one case) and Canada (two cases).

     Locally, all boundary control points have implemented health surveillance measures. Thermal imaging systems are in place for body temperature checks on 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.

     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.

     Health-care 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 pages below for more information:
* The CHP's avian influenza page
 (; and
* Global statistics and affected areas of avian influenza in the CHP's website (

Ends/Sunday, February 1, 2015
Issued at HKT 00:29


Print this page