A spokesman for the Department of Health (DH) today (May 29) said that the department is investigating five newly confirmed cases of human swine influenza (Influenza A H1N1). This brings to 20 the total number of human swine influenza cases in Hong Kong. All of them are imported cases.
The first case involved a 21-year-old woman studying in the United States. She and her friend returned to Hong Kong on May 28 from Los Angeles by taking a flight of Cathay Pacific (flight no. CX881). They wore face masks and sat in row 43 of the flight.
The patient took an airport bus to her home in Ching Wah Court, Tsing Yi.
She had onset of fever and runny nose after arriving home. She called DH’s hotline 2125 1111 and was subsequently taken to Princess Margaret Hospital by ambulance for isolation.
Her home contacts are asymptomatic. Her travel companion has gone to Mainland.
The second case involved a 21-year-old woman working in San Francisco. She arrived in Hong Kong on May 29 from San Francisco by a flight of Singapore Airlines (flight no. SQ1, codeshare Air India AI8001 and US Airways US5402).
The patient developed sore throat, cough, headache and fever on May 28 before boarding the flight and had vomited on the plane shortly before landing. She wore a face mask and sat in row 41 of the flight.
She was intercepted by Port Health Office and was transferred to Tuen Mun Hospital by ambulance for isolation.
The third case involved a 21-year-old man, studying in Massachusetts. He and his friend left the United States on May 24 for Seoul where they took a flight of Korean Air (flight no. KE607) to Hong Kong on May 26.
The patient had onset of fever, sore throat and runny nose on May 28. He went to North District Hospital (NDH) by taxi and was admitted. As he had onset of symptoms more than 12 hours after he arrived Hong Kong, CHP would not trace the flight passengers of KE607.
His family contacts are asymptomatic.
The fourth and the fifth cases involved a 24-year-old man and a 19-year-old woman. They arrived in Hong Kong on May 27 from New York by a flight of Continental Airlines (flight no. CO099).
The man developed headache and fever on May 25 and the symptoms subsided after self medication while the woman had onset of headache, fever and sore throat on May 28 after arrival Hong Kong.
They sat in row 24 of the flight.
Investigation showed that the man’s cousin took the two to his home in Kin Yip Court by taking an airport bus.
His cousin also developed fever on May 28. The three patients, accompanied by the man’s aunt sought medical treatment at the Accident and Emergency Department of the Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital (PYNEH) by taxi on May 28.
All four of them wore masks in the taxi. The three patients were admitted for isolation. Laboratory analysis on respiratory sample taken from the man's cousin yielded negative result for human swine influenza.
His aunt and uncle are asymptomatic.
Laboratory analysis on respiratory sample taken from the five patients yielded positive result for human swine influenza today.
DH is now tracing passengers sitting in rows 40-46 of CX881 arrived in Hong Kong on May 28, those sitting in rows 38-44 of SQ1 arrived in Hong Kong on May 29, those sitting in row 21-27 of CO099 arriving in Hong Kong on May 27, and crew members of the flights concerned who had served the cabins concerned as well as other close contact of the five patients.
Passengers who had travelled on the three concerned flights are urged to call the DH’s Centre for Health Protection hotline 2125 1111.
The spokesman also urged the two taxi drivers who took the 21-year-old male patient from Wan Ming Estate, Fanling to NDH, or took four persons from Kin Yip Court, Chai Wan to PYNEH in the afternoon of May 28 to call the hotline.
Investigations into the five cases are ongoing.
Meanwhile, the spokesman called on members of the public to advise their children, relatives or friends coming to Hong Kong from abroad to defer their trips if they developed symptoms such as fever, cough or sore throat.
"To protect their own health and that of other travellers, they should seek medical attention where they are.
"If they feel unwell on the plane, they should wear a face mask and inform cabin crew immediately," the spokesman said.
Ends/Friday, May 29, 2009