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Influenza response level lowered from "Serious" to "Alert"

     The Government today (December 8) lowered the influenza response level under the Framework of Government's Preparedness Plan for Influenza Pandemic from "Serious" to "Alert".

     The influenza response level was raised from "Alert" to "Serious" on November 17, upon detection of a human case of influenza A (H5) involving a 59-year-old woman.

     A spokesman for the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health  said the CHP had stepped up surveillance and epidemiological investigation since then. Close contacts of the patient have been traced and placed under quarantine.

     Three weeks of strengthened surveillance have passed and no secondary spread or further case of avian influenza was detected during the period.

     "The human case of influenza A (H5) was classified as an imported sporadic infection. The patient is now in stable condition under the management of Princess Margaret Hospital," the spokesman said.

     He said the "Alert" response level was activated in view of the on-going activities of highly pathogenic avian influenza among poultry outside Hong Kong.

     "The CHP will continue close monitoring of the global situation on avian influenza. So far, there is no evidence of efficient human-to-human transmission."

     The public are advised to stay vigilant and maintain good personal and environmental hygiene habits including washing hands frequently particularly after sneezing or coughing; maintaining good indoor ventilation; building up good body immunity by having a balanced diet, regular exercise and adequate rest, and avoiding smoking.

Ends/Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Issued at HKT 13:01


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