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Health Surveillance Questionnaire launched at airport (with photos)

     In view of the latest situation regarding overseas outbreaks of Ebola virus disease (EVD), a spokesman for the Department of Health (DH) announced that a Health Surveillance Questionnaire was launched at Hong Kong International Airport today (October 20) to enhance health surveillance of arriving passengers from the EVD-affected countries.

     "As of today, the EVD-affected countries include Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Equateur Province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo," the spokesman said.

     Passengers arriving at the airport will be invited to complete the Health Surveillance Questionnaire if he or she has travelled to the above EVD-affected countries in the past 21 days or holds a travel document issued by the above EVD-affected countries. These passengers will then be requested to fill in their personal information, travel history, health status and contact history with EVD patients.

     To facilitate the implementation of the new measure, counters have been set up in the airport arrival hall before immigration clearance. Arriving passengers who fulfill the criteria are invited to approach the counter and fill in the questionnaire. The completed questionnaire can be passed to the DH's Port Health Office (PHO) staff at the counter.

     "If the arriving passengers, in the past 21 days, have travelled to those EVD-affected countries with any symptoms of EVD, or have come into contact with any suspected or confirmed patients of EVD, or an EVD patient's dead body, blood, secretions, organs or body fluid, the PHO's officers will perform further assessment and refer them to the Hospital Authority Infectious Disease Centre (HAIDC) in Princess Margaret Hospital for examination," the spokesman explained.

     The spokesman reiterated that the DH has all along remained vigilant and put in place a series of enhanced port health measures to safeguard Hong Kong against EVD.

     To enhance dissemination of relevant information to travellers, the DH has been delivering updated EVD-related health promotion messages to travellers through health leaflets and broadcasts at the airport and other boundary control points (BCPs) as well as the Travel Health Service website (

     The DH has been requesting airlines through the Airline Operators Committee to broadcast the health message on all incoming flights to alert travellers about the disease. In addition, regular updates to the airlines, the tourism industry and relevant stakeholders at BCPs are being provided through meetings, briefings and correspondences.

     Immigration officers at all BCPs will also assist in identifying incoming passengers holding travel documents issued by the affected countries and provide them with information sheets about EVD. The information sheets remind sick travellers to approach port health personnel immediately if they are already sick upon arrival. If these travellers develop symptoms during their visit to Hong Kong, they should call 999 to arrange for consultation at an Accident and Emergency Department.

     Temperature screening using thermal imaging scanners is already in place at all BCPs for all arriving travellers. Any febrile travellers will be further assessed. Surveillance of sick travellers has been enhanced and all suspected cases identified at the airport and other BCPs would be referred to the HAIDC.

     The DH will continue to closely monitor the latest developments of overseas situation and communicate with the World Health Organization as well as the Mainland and neighbouring health authorities to exchange information and updates on preventive and control measures, including port health measures, and will modify the local response and health surveillance if necessary.

Ends/Monday, October 20, 2014
Issued at HKT 17:45


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