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Five more human cases of Influenza A (H7N9) verified by NHFPC

     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) verified with the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) today (April 12) two human cases of Influenza A (H7N9) in Shanghai and three cases in Zhejiang.

     The two cases in Shanghai involve two men aged 53 and 86. The 16 close contacts of the duo are asymptomatic so far.

     The three cases in Zhejiang involve a 66-year-old man, a 74-year-old man and a 54-year-old woman.

     Specimens of the five cases were tested positive for H7N9 upon laboratory testing by the Mainland health authority.

     As of 10pm today, a total of 43 cases have been laboratory confirmed with Influenza A (H7N9) in Shanghai (20 cases), Jiangsu (12 cases), Zhejiang (nine cases) and Anhui (two cases).

     A spokesman for the 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 to keep a close eye on the latest advice from the World Health Organization.

     The spokesman also reminded 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. Health-care 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 case of Influenza A (H7N9) has been identified so far in Hong Kong," the spokesman reiterated.

     "We would like to reassure the public that the Government will be as transparent as possible in the dissemination of information on human cases of 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, 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, or handling food or eating, and after going to the toilet, touching public installations or equipment such as escalator handrails, elevator control panels or 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 a mask when respiratory symptoms develop or when taking care of fever patients.

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

Ends/Friday, April 12, 2013
Issued at HKT 23:22


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