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Epidemiological investigation and follow-up actions by CHP on confirmed human case of avian influenza A(H7N9)

     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) today (January 13) provided an update on the confirmed human case of avian influenza A(H7N9) affecting a man aged 65. The patient passed away at 7.02pm tonight.

     "The CHP will report this case to the World Health Organization. The epidemiological investigations, enhanced disease surveillance, port health measures and health education about avian influenza are proceeding," a spokesman for the DH said.

     As of 4pm today, the number of close contacts remained at five while there were 98 other contacts.

     Close contacts were put under quarantine for ten days from their last contact with the patient and were prescribed the antiviral Tamiflu for prophylaxis, followed by ten more days of medical surveillance.

     Other contacts remain under medical surveillance. They include another family member of the patient, healthcare workers, clients and visitors of relevant healthcare facilities, an officer at a boundary control point and the patient's neighbours. Eight of them developed non-specific symptoms. The respiratory specimens of seven of them tested negative for H7 virus while the result of the remaining sample is pending.

     Since the first confirmed human case of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Hong Kong on December 3, 2013, the CHP's hotline (2125 1111) has been set up for public enquiries. As of 4pm today, 122 calls have been received.

     Additionally, the CHP today received notification of four additional human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Foshan (two cases) from the Health and Family Planning Commission of Guangdong Province, and in Zhejiang (two cases) from the National Health and Family Planning Commission. As of 9pm today, a total of 169 human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) have been confirmed in the Mainland, including Zhejiang (60 cases), Shanghai (36 cases), Jiangsu (30 cases), Guangdong (16 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).

     "Travellers, especially those returning from avian influenza-affected areas and provinces with fever or respiratory symptoms, should 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 areas and provinces," the spokesman advised.

     Members of the public should remain vigilant and take heed of the 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 ( and website ( for more information on avian influenza-affected areas and provinces.

Ends/Monday, January 13, 2014
Issued at HKT 22:32


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