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Three human cases of Influenza A (H7N9) in Shanghai and Jiangsu verified by NHFPC

     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) tonight (April 8) verified with the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) three confirmed human cases of Influenza A (H7N9) in Shanghai and Jiangsu.

     A CHP spokesman said the case in Shanghai involved a 64-year-old man, who has passed away. And the two cases in Jiangsu involved an 85-year-old man and a 25-year-old woman, both of whom were in critical condition.

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

     According to the Shanghai Municipal Public Health Bureau and the Jiangsu Province Department of Health, the 66 close contacts of the three patients are asymptomatic so far.

     A spokesman for DH stressed that the CHP is closely monitoring the situation and will continue to maintain close liaison with the Mainland health authorities for more case information, as well as keep a close eye on the advice from the World Health Organization.

     The spokesman also advised travellers, especially those returning from Shanghai, Anhui, Jiangsu and Zhejiang, with fever or respiratory symptoms, to wear facial masks immediately, seek medical attention, and reveal their travel history to doctors. Healthcare professionals should also pay special attention to those who might have had contact with birds, poultry or their droppings in the affected areas.

     "No human infection with Influenza A (H7N9) has been identified so far in Hong Kong," the spokesman said.

     "We would like to reassure the public that the Government will be as transparent as possible in the dissemination of information on cases of human infection with Influenza A (H7N9) . Whenever there is a suspected case, the CHP will release information to the public as soon as possible," the spokesman added.

     Members of the public should remain vigilant and are reminded to take heed of the following preventive advice against avian influenza:

* Avoid direct contact with poultry and birds or their droppings. If contact has been made, they should immediately wash hands thoroughly with soap and water;
* 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 toilet, touching public installations or equipment such as escalator handrails, elevator control panels or door knobs, or when hands are dirtied by respiratory secretions after coughing or sneezing;
* Cover the nose and mouth while sneezing or coughing, hold the spit with tissue and put it into covered dustbins;
* Avoid crowded places and contact with fever patients; and
* Wear a mask when respiratory symptoms develop or you need to take care of fever patients.

     The public may visit the Avian Influenza page of the CHP ( for further information.

Ends/Monday, April 8, 2013
Issued at HKT 19:07


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