Additional human case of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Hebei notified by NHFPC
Hong Kong (HKSAR) - The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) has been notified by the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) an additional human case of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Hebei today (July 20) affecting a 61-year-old woman.
The patient developed cough andfever on July 10 and sought medical attention at a local hospital for further management on July 13. She was transferred to a hospital in Beijing on July 18 and she is currently in critical condition.
The patient's respiratory specimen tested positive for avian influenza A(H7N9) virus upon laboratory testing by the Beijing health authority.
To date, a total of 133 human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) have been laboratory confirmed in the Mainland, including Zhejiang (46 cases), Shanghai (33 cases), Jiangsu (28 cases), Jiangxi (six cases), Fujian (five cases), Anhui (four cases), Henan (four cases), Shandong (two cases), Hunan (two cases), Beijing (two cases) and Hebei (one case).
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, Hebei 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.
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:
* 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 such as escalator handrails, elevator control panels or door knobs; or when hands are dirtied by respiratory secretions after coughing or sneezing; * Cover the nose and mouth while sneezing or coughing, and hold the spit with a tissue and put it into a covered dustbin; * Avoid crowded places and contact with fever patients; and * Wear a mask when respiratory symptoms develop or when taking care of fever patients.
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