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Preparedness Plan for Influenza Pandemic 2012  Close












 

Preparedness Plan for Influenza Pandemic 2012

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government has devised the Preparedness Plan for Influenza Pandemic, consisting of three response levels, each representing a graded risk of an influenza pandemic that may affect Hong Kong and its health impact on the community, in line with the latest guidelines issued by the World Health Organization.   The plan was updated in 2012.

1. Alert Response Level

Level of risk

Alert Response Level corresponds to a situation where the risk of a novel influenza virus causing new and serious health impact in Hong Kong is low

It depicts the existence of a novel influenza virus capable of causing more serious illness than seasonal influenza in neighbouring regions of Hong Kong, but without imminent risk of causing any human infection in Hong Kong.

Activation or Stand down

For scenarios involving infection in animals, the Secretary for Food and Health (SFH) may activate or stand down this response level upon the advice of the Director of Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation (DAFC).  

For scenarios involving infection in humans, SFH may activate or stand down this response level upon the advice of the Director of Health (DoH).

Command Structure

The Food and Health Bureau will coordinate and steer Government response.  The Department of Health, the Hospital Authority, the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department and the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department will be the main parties assessing the nature and level of risks.

Aims of Public Health Actions

To obtain timely and accurate information, in order to prevent the disease from spreading into Hong Kong and facilitate prompt surveillance for any local cases.

Under Alert Response Level, the public should...

  • Observe good personal, food and environmental hygiene practices as usual.
  • Take heed of further announcements from the Government, especially updates on the outbreaks of novel influenza outside Hong Kong.

2. Serious Response Level

Level of Risk

Serious Response Level corresponds to a situation where the risk of a novel influenza virus causing new and serious impact to human health in Hong Kong is moderate

It depicts a moderate risk of serious human infections caused by the novel influenza virus in Hong Kong, but serious infections are not expected to be widespread in the short term.

Activation or Stand down

For scenarios involving outbreaks in animals or the environment (such as the environment of poultry population), SFH may activate or stand down this response level upon the advice of DAFC or the Director of Food and Environmental Hygiene.

For scenarios involving human infection, SFH may activate or stand down this response level upon the advice of DoH.

Command Structure

A Steering Committee chaired by SFH will be set up, comprising senior officials from relevant bureaux and departments.

Aims of Public Health Actions

To control the spread of the disease, to identify the source of infection and to contain the spread of the virus.

Under Serious Response Level, the public should...

  • Observe good personal, food and environmental hygiene practices as usual.
  • Understand the use of personal protective equipment and practices for possible exigencies.
  • Take heed of and comply with guidelines issued by the Government on travelling, port health, culling of poultry, quarantine actions, etc.

3. Emergency Response Level

Level of Risk

Emergency Response Level corresponds to a situation where the risk of a novel influenza virus causing new and serious impact to human health in Hong Kong is high and imminent.

It depicts a high risk of serious human infections caused by the novel influenza virus in Hong Kong, and serious infections may be widespread.

Activation or Stand down

The Chief Executive (CE) may activate or stand down this response level upon the advice of SFH.

DoH will consider the key factors in conducting the risk assessment to support SFH in the formulation of advice.

Command Structure

A Steering Committee chaired by the CE will be set up, comprising directors of bureaux and other senior Government officials.

Sub-committees may be set up under the Steering Committee as appropriate, to look after operational matters and specific issues.

Aims of Public Health Actions

To contain the disease or to slow down progression of the epidemic, so as to minimise loss of human lives and to buy time for production of an effective vaccine.

Under Emergency Response Level, the public should...

  • Use personal protective equipment appropriately.
  • Understand that everyday life may inevitably be disrupted for public health reasons.
  • Take heed of and comply with guidelines issued by the Government on travelling, cessation of major events, suspension of schools, preventive vaccine and medication, arrangements for medical services, etc.

General Preventive Measures

Regardless of the response level, the general public should always observe good hygiene practices to prevent influenza.

  • Cover mouth and nose with tissue paper when coughing or sneezing, dispose used tissue paper in covered rubbish bin and wash hands carefully afterwards.
  • Maintain good personal hygiene and wash hands frequently.  Do not rub eyes, mouth or nose and wash hands before touching them.
  • Pursue a healthy lifestyle and improve body resistance through having sufficient sleep, being well-rested, maintaining a balanced diet, engaging regular exercise, keeping the environment well-ventilated and refraining from smoking.
  • Avoid crowded and poorly-ventilated public areas.
  • Avoid having contact with live birds, poultry and their droppings, and avoid having close contact with pet birds at home.  After touching live birds or poultry, always wash hands with liquid soap and water.
  • Travellers should stay away from live birds and poultry during their trip.
  • Poultry meat and eggs should be thoroughly cooked before consumption.
  • Receive seasonal influenza vaccination.
  • After returning from countries with avian influenza outbreaks, consult a doctor if fever and symptoms of respiratory tract diseases develop and inform the doctor about the recent travel history.
  • If symptoms of influenza develop, consult a doctor promptly and stay at home.  Wear a mask to prevent spreading the disease to others.

The full Plan (including illustrative scenarios corresponding to the three response levels) can be located at

http://www.chp.gov.hk/en/guideline1/29.html

 
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