Notification of three human cases of H7N9 in Shanghai and Anhui

     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health received notification from the National Health and Family Planning Commission (the Commission) today (March 31) concerning three confirmed human cases of influenza A (H7N9).

     A CHP spokesman said the two cases in Shanghai were two men aged 87 and 27, who passed away on March 4 and 10 respectively. As regards the case in Anhui, the 35-year-old female patient is now in critical condition.

     Laboratory tests on the three patients' specimens by the Mainland health authorities yielded a positive result for H7N9.

     According to the Commission, the 27-year-old man was a butcher while the 35-year-old woman had exposure history to poultry before the onset of symptoms. No epidemiological link between the three cases was identified. So far, no abnormality was detected among the 88 close contacts of three cases.

     The spokesman said that influenza A (H7) is a statutorily notifiable infectious disease in Hong Kong. The CHP is maintaining close liaison with the Mainland health authorities to obtain more information on the cases.

     "We will heighten our vigilance and continue to maintain stringent port health measures in connection with this development," the spokesman said.

     The spokesman reminded members of the public to remain vigilant against avian influenza infection and to observe the following measures:

* Avoid direct contact with poultry and birds or their droppings; if contacts have been made, they should wash hands thoroughly with soap and water;
* Poultry and eggs should be thoroughly cooked before eating;
* Wash hands frequently;
* Cover nose and mouth while sneezing or coughing, hold the spit with tissue and put it into covered dustbins;
* Avoid crowded places and contact with sick people with fever;
* Wear a mask when you have respiratory symptoms or need to take care of patients with fever; and
* When you have fever and influenza-like illnesses during a trip or when coming back to Hong Kong, you should consult doctors promptly and reveal your travel history.

     For further information on avian influenza, please visit the CHP's website (

Ends/Sunday, March 31, 2013
Issued at HKT 13:47