CHP closely monitors five human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) on Mainland
According to the NHFPC, two patients in Fujian were a 79-year-old man who had visited a market and died on July 10, and a 78-year-old man who had poultry exposure and is currently in serious condition. A patient in Beijing is a 35-year-old male who had poultry exposure in Jiangxi and is currently in serious condition. Two patients in Hebei are a 13-year-old girl and a 68-year-old woman, and both are in stable condition. They live together and the 13-year old patient had accompanied the above patient in Beijing back to Jiangxi.
"H7N9 has become enzootic in poultry on the Mainland. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, from January 2015 to May 2016, poultry and environmental samples collected from markets in Anhui, Fujian, Guangdong, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Jilin, Shanghai and Zhejiang tested positive for H7N9. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations revealed that positive samples on the Mainland were mainly taken from live bird markets, vendors and some commercial or breeding farms," a spokesman for the CHP said.
"In view of additional human cases reported on the Mainland with detection of human cases in previously unaffected areas in warmer months, as well as the detection of positive samples of faecal droppings of live poultry in Hong Kong and the positive environmental sample in Macau in June, the public should remain vigilant. Travellers to the Mainland and other avian influenza-affected areas in the summer vacation should not visit poultry markets, and should avoid contact with poultry and their droppings," the spokesman added.
From 2013 to date, 775 human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) have been reported by the Mainland health authorities, while since October 2015 to date, 118 have been recorded.
"We will remain vigilant and work closely with the World Health Organization and relevant health authorities to monitor the latest developments," the spokesman 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 broadcasting 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 the 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 for more information: the avian influenza page, the weekly Avian Influenza Report, global statistics and affected areas of avian influenza, the Facebook Page and the YouTube Channel.
Ends/Friday, August 12, 2016
Issued at HKT 17:14
Issued at HKT 17:14