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Press Release

Update on imported human case of avian influenza  A(H7N9)

19 March 2016

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (March 19) reported an update on the second imported human case of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Hong Kong this year.

The 81-year-old female patient is still under isolation and management in the Hospital Authority Infectious Disease Centre in Princess Margaret Hospital. She remains in stable condition.

Epidemiological investigations by the CHP have so far identified 11 close contacts and 56 other contacts of the patient.

A. Close contacts

According to the management of close contacts recommended by the CHP's Scientific Committee on Emerging and Zoonotic Diseases which came into effect in March 2015, based on risk assessment, antiviral prophylaxis with oseltamivir (Tamiflu) will be given to close contacts for five days and they will be put under medical surveillance for 10 days after the last exposure to the patient.

The 11 close contacts comprise:

  • The patient's two symptomatic daughters. Their nasopharyngeal aspirate (NPA) tested negative for influenza A virus; and
  • Nine asymptomatic relatives.

B. Other contacts

The 56 other contacts will be put under medical surveillance. They include other patients and healthcare workers in Caritas Medical Centre (CMC), ambulance officers involved in patient transfer, an immigration officer involved upon patient's arrival in Hong Kong and other relatives of the 81-year-old female patient. Among them, one patient admitted to the same cubicle as the 81-year-old female patient in CMC was symptomatic and her NPA tested negative for H7. The remaining other contacts are all asymptomatic.

Investigations and contact tracing are ongoing.
19 Mar 2016