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SFH on preventive and surveillance measures against human cases of Influenza A (H7N9) (with photos)

     Following is the transcript of remarks made by the Secretary for Food and Health, Dr Ko Wing-man, after inspecting Cheung Sha Wan Temporary Wholesale Poultry Market this morning (April 8):

Secretary for Food and Health: The experts from the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, as well as the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department, met with experts from the Mainland authorities yesterday. The meeting agreed that starting from Thursday both sides would enhance the surveillance work on poultry, particularly the live poultry imported into Hong Kong. We will take samples from poultry imported into Hong Kong upon their entry at the Man Kam To Control Point for rapid tests of H5 avian influenza (AI) and H7 AI. When these live poultry arrive at Cheung Sha Wan Temporary Wholesale Poultry Market, they will be held here until the results of the rapid tests demonstrate that they are negative for H5 AI and H7 AI. They will then be released to the market for sale.

Reporter: (On when the Government will upgrade our preparedness to serious response level.)

Secretary for Food and Health: According to our contingency plan for influenza outbreaks (the Government Preparedness Plan for Influenza Pandemic) including avian influenza outbreaks, when we detect any poultry in Hong Kong positive for H7N9 avian flu, or any human infection of H7N9 is established in Hong Kong, we will escalate the contingency plan to a serious response level. At the same time, we will also carry out partial or total culling of live poultry in Hong Kong as well as suspending the import of live poultry into Hong Kong.

Reporter: Are there any measures to stop wild birds from infecting poultry here?

Secretary for Food and Health: You can see that the storage place for live poultry overnight (in the Cheung Sha Wan Temporary Wholesale Poultry Market) is protected by nets. There are adequate biosecurity measures in this wholesale market to guard against the wild birds spreading the H7N9 virus to our poultry.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)

Ends/Monday, April 8, 2013
Issued at HKT 12:59


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