CHP notified five additional human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Mainland

     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) today (January 11) received notification of five additional human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) respectively in Guangzhou (one case) and Shenzhen (one case) from the Health and Family Planning Commission of Guangdong Province, and in Shanghai (two cases) and Zhejiang (one case) from the National Health and Family Planning Commission.

     In Guangzhou, the male patient aged 29 is currently in critical condition. He lives in Baiyun. The case in Shenzhen involved a man aged 76 who is now in stable condition. He lives in Longgang and had no known poultry exposure. Both became ill on January 3 and were admitted to local hospital for medical treatment on January 9. Epidemiological investigations and medical surveillance over close contacts are underway.

     Regarding the two cases in Shanghai, both patients are in critical condition. The female patient aged 58 became ill on January 1 and was admitted to hospital on January 8 for medical treatment. Her specimen was laboratory confirmed on January 10. The other male patient aged 56 became ill on January 6 and was admitted to hospital for treatment on January 9. The case was laboratory confirmed today. Both patients described poultry exposure.

     In addition, in Zhejiang, the female patient aged 75 became sick on January 1 and was admitted to hospital for treatment on January 5. She died on January 9 and the case was laboratory confirmed on January 10. She also had poultry exposure.

     As of 9pm today, a total of 163 human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) have been confirmed in the Mainland, including Zhejiang (56 cases), Shanghai (36 cases), Jiangsu (30 cases), Guangdong (14 cases), Jiangxi (six cases), Fujian (six cases), Anhui (four cases), Henan (four cases), Beijing (two cases), Hunan (two cases), Shandong (two cases) and Hebei (one case).

     The CHP will follow-up with the Mainland health authorities for more case details.

     "Locally, enhanced disease surveillance, port health measures and health education against avian influenza are ongoing. We will remain vigilant and maintain liaison with the World Health Organization (WHO) and relevant health authorities. Local surveillance activities will be modified upon the WHO's recommendations," a spokesman for the DH said.

     "All border control points have implemented disease prevention and control measures. Thermal imaging systems are in place for body temperature checks of inbound travellers. Random temperature checks by handheld devices have been arranged. Suspected cases will be immediately referred to public hospitals for follow-up investigation," the spokesman added.

     Regarding health education for travellers, distribution of pamphlets, display of posters in departure and arrival halls, in-flight public announcements, environmental health inspections and provision of regular updates to the travel industry via meetings and correspondence are all proceeding.

     The spokesman advised travellers, especially those returning from avian influenza-affected countries and areas, with fever or respiratory symptoms to immediately wear masks, seek medical attention and reveal their travel history to doctors. Healthcare professionals should pay special attention to patients who might have had contact with poultry, birds or their droppings in affected countries and areas.

     Members of the public should remain vigilant and take heed of preventive advice against avian influenza below:

* Do not visit live poultry markets. Avoid contact with poultry, birds and their droppings. If contact has been made, thoroughly wash hands with soap;
* 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 the toilet or touching public installations or equipment (including escalator handrails, elevator control panels and 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 a tissue and put it into a covered dustbin;
* Avoid crowded places and contact with fever patients; and
* Wear masks when respiratory symptoms develop or when taking care of fever patients.

     The public may visit the CHP's avian influenza page ( or website ( for more information on avian influenza-affected countries and areas.

Ends/Saturday, January 11, 2014
Issued at HKT 21:01