Credit Hong Kong CHP
Earlier this week, in Hong Kong’s Ebola Response, we looked at their Centre for Health Protection’s plans to test anyone with a fever, and recent (within 3 wks) travel history to the West African nations of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone for the Ebola Virus, and the letter sent to doctors to alert them to report any suspected cases.
Today, Hong Kong’s government has posted a warning to `avoid unnecessary travel’ to these affected regions, and has provided an update to their local response plan.
Additionally, today airline passengers arriving from these African nations will receive information sheets on the Ebola virus, and what to do if they develop symptoms in the 21 days following their arrival.
The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) today (August 2) provides an update on local response in view of the overseas outbreaks of Ebola virus disease (EVD).
"As additional EVD cases and deaths have been continually reported in the Western African region since March 2014, we have been closely monitoring the latest developments. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), as of July 27, there have been 1 323 EVD cases including 729 deaths reported in the Western African region. We also call on the public to stay alert and maintain good personal, food and environmental hygiene during travel," a spokesman for the DH remarked.
"In view of the latest situation in the related area, we advised travellers to avoid unnecessary travel to the affected area including Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. This travel alert message has been posted on the website of the CHP," the spokesman said.
Besides, the CHP has provided guidelines for health professional on infection control for EVD in healthcare settings. The CHP will issue letters to doctors and hospitals to remind them the importance of infection control measures. The guidelines are now available on the CHP's EVD page at (www.chp.gov.hk/files/pdf/ic_recommendations_for_evd.pdf)
Meanwhile, a new measure will be initiated later today that immigration officers will assist in identifying arrival passengers holding travel documents issued by the three affected countries and provide them information sheets of EVD. The information sheets will remind the sick travellers to approach port health personnel immediately if they are already sick upon arrival. If travellers have symptoms during visit in Hong Kong, they should seek medical treatment promptly in nearest Accident and Emergency Department of public hospitals as provided in the information sheet and tell the doctors about their travel history.
"Viral haemorrhagic fever, including EVD, has been a statutorily notifiable infectious disease since July 2008. No cases have been recorded in Hong Kong so far. The CHP's Public Health Laboratory Services Branch is capable of detecting the virus," the spokesman stressed.
- There is currently no vaccine for EVD. The DH appealed to the public to take heed of the following preventive measures:
- Observe good personal and environmental hygiene. Wash hands with soap frequently;
- Avoid close contact with feverish or ill persons, and avoid contact with blood or bodily fluids of patients, including items which may have come in contact with an infected person's blood or bodily fluids;
- Avoid contact with animals; and
- Cook food thoroughly before consumption.
The public may visit the CHP's EVD page (www.chp.gov.hk/en/view_content/34199.html), the Travel Health News in the DH's Travel Health Service website (www.travelhealth.gov.hk/english/outbreaknews/outbreaknews.html) or the WHO's EVD page (www.who.int/csr/disease/ebola/en/) for more information and travel advice.
Ends/Saturday, August 2, 2014
Issued at HKT 18:26