Credit HK CHP
Hong Kong’s CHP has been notified of an additional H7N9 in Guangdong Province, bringing to 54 the number of cases reported from their neighboring province this winter. Unfortunately, timely reports from the rest of mainland China are in short supply, making it difficult to characterize this year’s outbreak.
17 February 2015
The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) is today (February 17) closely monitoring an additional human case of avian influenza A(H7N9) notified by the Health and Family Planning Commission of Guangdong Province (GDHFPC), and again urged the public to maintain strict personal, food and environmental hygiene both locally and during travel.
According to the GDHFPC, the female patient aged 33 in Guangzhou was hospitalised for treatment in critical condition.
To date, 574 human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) have been reported by the Mainland health authorities, respectively in Guangdong (163 cases), Zhejiang (156 cases), Jiangsu (70 cases), Fujian (58 cases), Shanghai (45 cases), Hunan (24 cases), Anhui (17 cases), Xinjiang (10 cases), Jiangxi (nine cases), Shandong (six cases), Beijing (five cases), Henan (four cases), Guangxi (three cases), Jilin (two cases), Guizhou (one case) and Hebei (one case).
Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s severe flu season continues unabated with daily reports painting a grim picture of both the number of ICU admissions and deaths, with the number of fatal flu cases this winter on track to more than double last year’s total.
The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (February 17) reported the latest surveillance data of the winter influenza season, and again urged the public to heighten vigilance and get vaccinated early against seasonal influenza.
Regarding severe cases, from noon yesterday (February 16) to noon today, 22 additional cases of influenza-associated admission to intensive care units or death (including 18 deaths) among adults aged 18 or above have been recorded under the enhanced surveillance in collaboration with public and private hospitals reactivated since January 2, bringing the total to 322 (228 deaths) so far. Among them, 306 were A(H3N2), 10 were A pending subtype and six were B. In the last winter season in early 2014, 266 (133 deaths) were filed.
Meanwhile, no additional cases of severe paediatric influenza-associated complication or death among children aged under 18 have been reported since yesterday via the ongoing reporting system and the total this year hence remains at 14 (no deaths) and all were A(H3N2). In 2014, 27 (four deaths) were filed.
This year’s flu season is so grim - that while located in the Northern Hemisphere - Hong Kong is making arrangements to purchase a quantity of the recently revised Southern Hemisphere vaccine, as announced earlier this month in New flu vaccine ready by April.
As we’ve seen this year in North America, Hong Kong’s flu season has been dominated by a drifted H3N2 virus which has greatly reduced this year’s vaccine effectiveness, and its greatest impact has been on the elderly.