29 May 2013
The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) verified with the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) an additional human case of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Beijing yesterday (May 28) affecting a six-year-old boy.
The patient developed fever, sore throat as well as headache on May 21 and sought medical attention at a local hospital for further management. His family described him with no poultry exposure. The boy is currently in good condition and his 50 close contacts are asymptomatic so far.
The patient's throat swab tested positive for avian influenza A(H7N9) virus upon laboratory testing by the Beijing health authority.
To date, a total of 131 human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) have been laboratory confirmed in the Mainland, including Zhejiang (46 cases), Shanghai (33 cases), Jiangsu (27 cases), Jiangxi (six cases), Fujian (five cases), Anhui (four cases), Henan (four cases), Shandong (two cases), Hunan (two cases) and Beijing (two cases).
A DH spokesman remarked that the CHP is closely monitoring the situation and maintaining close liaison with the Mainland health authorities for case details, as well as keeping a close eye on the latest advice from the World Health Organization.
Travellers, especially those returning from Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Anhui, Henan, Beijing, Shandong, Jiangxi, Fujian, Hunan or Guangdong, with fever or respiratory symptoms are reminded to immediately wear facial masks, seek medical attention, and reveal their travel history to doctors. Health-care professionals should also pay special attention to patients who might have had contact with birds, poultry or their droppings in affected areas.
"Locally, no confirmed human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) have been recorded so far," the spokesman stressed.
"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 to avoid direct contact with poultry, birds or their droppings. If contact has been made, they should thoroughly wash their 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:
The public may visit the CHP's avian influenza page ( www.chp.gov.hk/en/view_content/24244.html ) for further information.