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CHP notified of two additional human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Guangdong

     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) today (March 16) received notification of two additional human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) between March 10 and 16 from the Health and Family Planning Commission of Guangdong Province, and again urged the public to maintain strict personal, food and environmental hygiene both locally and during travel.

     The two patients involved a 56-year-old man who lives in Shantou and a 39-year-old woman who lives in Zhongshan.

     "H5 and H7N9 avian influenza viruses can cause severe infections in humans. Due to the seasonal pattern, our risk assessment shows that the activity of avian influenza viruses will continue to remain at a high level. Human H5N6 and H7N9 cases have been recorded in the Mainland in recent months. Locally, birds positive for H5N6 and an imported human case of avian influenza A(H7N9) were also detected since the end of last year. The public, particularly poultry traders, travellers and those who may visit the Mainland, should be highly alert. Do not visit poultry markets or farms. Avoid poultry contact. We will continue to monitor the regional and global disease situation," a spokesman for the CHP said.
     From 2013 to date, 712 human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) have been reported by the Mainland health authorities.
     The DH's Port Health Office conducts health surveillance measures at all boundary control points. Thermal imaging systems are in place for body temperature checks on inbound travellers. Suspected cases will be immediately referred to public hospitals for follow-up.
     The display of posters and broadcast of health messages in departure and arrival halls as health education for travellers is under way. The travel industry and other stakeholders are regularly updated on the latest information.
     Travellers, especially those returning from avian influenza-affected areas with fever or respiratory symptoms, should immediately wear masks, seek medical attention and reveal their travel history to doctors. Health-care professionals should pay special attention to patients who might have had contact with poultry, birds or their droppings in affected areas.
     The public should remain vigilant and take heed of the advice against avian influenza below:
* Do not visit live poultry markets and farms. Avoid contact with poultry, birds and their droppings;
* If contact has been made, thoroughly wash hands with soap;
* Avoid entering areas where poultry may be slaughtered and contact with surfaces which might be contaminated by droppings of poultry or other animals;
* 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); 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 masks when respiratory symptoms develop or when taking care of fever patients.
     The public may visit the CHP's pages below for more information:
* The avian influenza page (;
* The weekly Avian Influenza Report (;
* The avian influenza-affected areas and global statistics (;
* The Facebook Page (; and
* The YouTube Channel (

Ends/Wednesday, March 16, 2016
Issued at HKT 17:30


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