We’ve been expecting some kind of announcement out of Hong Kong on their reported H7N9 case (see Media Reports: H7N9 Case In Hong Kong and Hong Kong Raises Influenza Pandemic Response Level) for several hours, and now we have two of them.
First from News.gov.Hk:
December 27, 2014
A 68-year-old woman is in critical condition with H7N9 bird flu in Tuen Mun Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit.
According to the patient’s family members, she had travelled to Longgang district in Shenzhen on December 13 with two friends and had eaten chicken at a friend’s home, but she had not been to any market selling live poultry.
She fell ill on December 19 and was admitted to the hospital on December 25.
Secretary for Food & Health Dr Ko Wing-man said the case has been classified as an imported one, and the Centre for Health Protection will investigate the source of infection and trace the patient’s contacts, including the friends with whom she travelled to Longgang district.
He said the response level under the Preparedness Plan for Influenza Pandemic has been raised from alert to serious, and the Mainland authorities have been informed of the case.
And this announcement on the local government’s response via Hong Kong’s CHP.
The following is issued on behalf of the Hospital Authority:
The Hospital Authority (HA) spokesman today (December 27) announced the activation of the Serious Response Level in public hospitals to tie in with the Government's raising of the response level of the Preparedness Plan for Influenza Pandemic from "Alert" to "Serious". A series of measures to enhance monitoring and infection control in public hospitals will be implemented tomorrow.
The HA spokesman said front-line hospital staff at Accident and Emergency Departments and general outpatient clinics are reminded to stay vigilant to patients seeking consultation at public hospitals. Enhanced surveillance and patient triage guidelines will be in place to ensure timely reporting and early arrangement of clinical tests.
"Under the Serious Response Level, more stringent infection control measures, including visiting arrangements, are enforced in public hospitals. There is no visiting at isolation wards unless on compassionate grounds. For general acute wards, visiting hours would be no more than two hours per day and no more than two visitors per visit. For convalescent and infirmary wards, visiting hours would be no more than four hours per day and no more than two visitors per visit."
The spokesman also reminded the public that visitors to public hospitals and clinics are now required to put on surgical masks and perform hand hygiene before and after visiting patient areas.
The HA will further review the policy on volunteer services. On personal protection equipment, such as surgical masks and N95 masks, the current stockpile is adequate for three-months' consumption. The HA will also maintain close liaison with the suppliers to ensure a sustainable supply. The isolation beds in the seven hospital clusters will be deployed when needed.
The HA would continue to closely collaborate with the Centre for Health Protection in monitoring the latest situation and keep the general public as well as health-care workers updated on developments on a regular basis.
Ends/Saturday, December 27, 2014
Issued at HKT 23:46