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SFH on avian influenza A(H7N9)

     Following is the transcript of remarks made by the Secretary for Food and Health, Dr Ko Wing-man, before attending a public function this afternoon (December 21):

Secretary for Food and Health: We are still discussing with the Mainland authorities regarding the introduction of serological test for avian influenza A(H7N9) among the imported poultry. I hope that it is at the final stage. But there are implications of introducing such a test which we have to deal with before the implementation. For example, I have repeatedly explained that although the rapid PCR test for avian influenza A(H7N9), which is currently in use, is already quite a big improvement in terms of our overall risk management, some experts feel that it is not 100% safe. The serological test will perhaps give us a clearer picture of how widespread the avian influenza A(H7N9) virus is among the poultry population, but the test itself cannot directly imply that the batch of poultry concerned is infectious. (A positive result) from a serological test does not strictly mean that the poultry batch (concerned) is infectious. Therefore, how to dispose of the particular batch of imported poultry which is tested positive in serology investigation is a question, and it is something that we really need to have an agreement beforehand. I believe the Mainland authorities are now considering this aspect. I will give it a little bit more time.

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

Ends/Saturday, December 21, 2013
Issued at HKT 19:01


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