The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) is today (December 26) closely monitoring a human fatal case of avian influenza A(H7N9) affecting a man aged 61 in Dongguan, Guangdong Province, and again urged the public to maintain strict personal, food and environmental hygiene both locally and during travel.
According to the Health and Family Planning Commission of Guangdong Province, the man with underlying illnesses was admitted to a local hospital on December 22 and passed away the next day. The deceased had visited a local market and had contact with live poultry.
From 2013 to date, 664 human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) have been reported by the Mainland health authorities.
"We will remain vigilant and work closely with the World Health Organization and relevant health authorities to monitor the latest developments," a spokesman for the DH said.
The DH's Port Health Office conducts health surveillance measures at all boundary control points. 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 display of posters and broadcast of health messages in departure and arrival halls as health education for travellers is under way. The travel industry and other stakeholders are regularly updated on latest information.
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 CHP's pages below for more information:
* The avian influenza page (www.chp.gov.hk/en/view_content/24244.html)
* The weekly Avian Influenza Report (www.chp.gov.hk/en/view_content/3879.html);
* Global statistics and affected areas of avian influenza (www.chp.gov.hk/files/pdf/global_statistics_avian_influenza_e.pdf);
* The Facebook Page (www.fb.com/CentreforHealthProtection); and
* The YouTube Channel (www.youtube.com/c/ChpGovHkChannel).
Ends/Saturday, December 26, 2015
Issued at HKT 14:56