The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) verified with the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) today (April 28) two human cases of avian influenza A (H7N9) in Jiangxi, one in Zhejiang and one in Fujian.
The two cases in Jiangxi involve an 80-year-old man and a 31-year-old woman who are receiving treatment in hospital and their respective conditions are stable and serious. The 19 close contacts of them are asymptomatic so far.
The case in Zhejiang involves a 38-year-old man who is receiving treatment in hospital. His condition is serious.
The case in Fujian involves an 80-year-old man who is receiving treatment in hospital. His condition is critical. The 33 close contacts of him are asymptomatic so far.
As of 9pm today, a total of 124 cases have been laboratory confirmed with avian influenza A (H7N9) in the Mainland, which included Zhejiang (46 cases), Shanghai (33 cases), Jiangsu (27 cases), Anhui (four cases), Henan (four cases), Jiangxi (five cases), Fujian (two cases), Beijing (one case), Shandong (one case) and Hunan (one case).
A spokesman for the DH stressed that the CHP is closely monitoring the situation and will continue to maintain close liaison with the Mainland health authorities for more case information, as well as keep a close eye on the latest advice from the World Health Organization.
The spokesman also reminded travellers, especially those returning from Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Anhui, Henan, Beijing, Shandong, Jiangxi, Fujian and Hunan, with fever or respiratory symptoms, to wear facial masks immediately, seek medical attention, and reveal their travel history to doctors. Healthcare professionals should also pay special attention to those who might have had contact with birds, poultry or their droppings in the affected areas.
"No human case of avian influenza A (H7N9) has been identified so far in Hong Kong," the spokesman reiterated.
"We would like to reassure the public that the Government will be as transparent as possible in the dissemination of information on human cases of avian influenza A (H7N9). Whenever there is a suspected case, the CHP will release information to the public as soon as possible," the spokesman added.
The spokesman urged travellers not to visit wet markets with live poultry in the affected areas and avoid direct contact with poultry, birds or their droppings. If contacts have been made, they should thoroughly wash hands with soap and water.
Members of the public should remain vigilant and are reminded to take heed of the following preventive advice against avian influenza:
* 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 toilet, touching public installations or equipment such as escalator handrails, elevator control panels or 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 tissue and put it into covered dustbins;
* Avoid crowded places and contact with fever patients; and
* Wear a mask when respiratory symptoms develop or you need to take care of fever patients.
The public may visit the Avian Influenza page of the CHP (www.chp.gov.hk/en/view_content/24244.html) for further information.
Ends/Sunday, April 28, 2013