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Press Release

Woman infected with H5 in serious condition

17 Nov 2010

The serious response level under the Government’s Preparedness Plan for influenza pandemic was today (November 17) activated as the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) investigated a case of influenza A H5 infection affecting a 59-year-old woman.

The patient developed running nose since November 2, 2010 and fever and cough on November 5. She sought medical attention from the Accidental and Emergency Department of Tuen Mun Hospital (TMH) on November 12. On November 14, she was admitted to TMH for persistent fever and productive cough with blood-stained sputum. She was diagnosed to have pneumonia and is now in serious condition.

A spokesman for the CHP said that the nasopharyngeal aspirate taken from the woman tested positive for Influenza A (H5). Further studies on the virus were in progress.

Investigation revealed that the patient travelled to the Mainland with her husband and daughter between October 23 and November 1, during which she did not have any contact with live poultry contact and did not visit farms.

Her 60-year-old husband had history of running nose and productive cough but has recovered.

"The CHP has stepped up surveillance by testing all severe pneumonia cases for H5." the spokesman said. The serious response level under the Government’s Preparedness Plan for influenza pandemic has been activated. A telephone hotline 2125 1111 has been set up to answer public enquiries.

"The CHP is also closely liaising with the Mainland authorities and the Hospital Authority to monitor the situation."

He advised members of the public that the best way to combat influenza infection was to build up body resistance by having a proper diet with adequate exercise and rest.

"Good ventilation should be maintained to avoid the spread of respiratory tract infection.

"Members of the public should seek medical consultation promptly if they develop influenza-like illness," the spokesman said.

"Members of the public should also avoid direct contact with poultry and birds, and if contacts have been made, they should wash hands thoroughly with soap and water.

17 November 2010