The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) has been notified by the Health and Family Planning Commission of Guangdong Province of a confirmed human case of avian influenza A(H5N6) today (December 23) affecting a 58-year-old man in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province.
The patient, who is in critical condition, is currently receiving treatment in a hospital in Guangzhou. No abnormality was reported among the close contacts of the patient.
"All novel influenza A infections (including H5N6) are notifiable diseases in Hong Kong," a spokesman for the DH said.
"Locally, we will remain vigilant and work closely with the World Health Organization and relevant health authorities to monitor the latest developments," the spokesman said.
"In view of cases confirmed on the Mainland, members of the public should maintain good personal, food and environmental hygiene at all times during travel," the spokesman urged.
"All boundary control points have implemented disease prevention and control measures. Thermal imaging systems are in place for body temperature checks of inbound travellers. Suspected cases will be immediately referred to public hospitals for follow-up investigation," the spokesman added.
Regarding health education for travellers, the display of posters and broadcast of health messages in departure and arrival halls, environmental health inspection and provision of regular updates to the travel industry via meetings and correspondence are proceeding.
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. Healthcare 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.
Ends/Tuesday, December 23, 2014