Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Hong Kong Stands Down From `Serious’ Influenza Response Level

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# 9911

 

On December 27th, 2014 we saw Hong Kong Raise Influenza Pandemic Response Level to Serious after their first detection of an imported H7N9 case from the Mainland for the 2014-15 winter season.  This made the 11th such case detected since the virus emerged in the spring of 2013, and would be the first of three cases imported this year.

 

From the Preparedness Plan for Influenza Pandemic The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (2014)

Serious Response Level


9. Serious Response Level corresponds to a situation where the risk of a novel influenza virus causing new and serious impact to human health in Hong Kong is moderate. Generally, it depicts a moderate risk of serious human infections caused by the novel influenza virus in Hong Kong, but serious infections are not expected to be widespread in the short term. Illustrative scenarios are shown in Box 2.

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With fewer reports of H7N9 coming from the Mainland in the past 30 days, and the last imported case six weeks ago, the government of Hong Kong has decided to reduce the response level from `Serious’ to `Alert’.

 

 

Serious influenza response stands down

The Government today (April 8) lowered the response level of the Preparedness Plan for Influenza Pandemic from "Serious" to "Alert".


The response level was raised to "Serious" upon the detection of the first confirmed human case of avian influenza A(H7N9) in winter, imported from the Mainland on December 27, 2014. Since then Hong Kong has so far recorded three confirmed cases, which were all imported. The latest case was confirmed on February 23, 2015. The surveillance system of local public and private hospitals has not detected any new cases for more than a month.


A spokesman for the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health said that the "Alert" response level was activated in view of the ongoing activity of highly pathogenic avian influenza among poultry outside Hong Kong.


"We will continue to closely monitor the global situation of avian influenza. So far, there is no evidence of efficient human-to-human transmission," the spokesman added.


Members of the public are advised to stay vigilant and maintain good personal and environmental hygiene, including washing hands frequently, particularly after sneezing or coughing; maintaining good indoor ventilation; building up good body immunity by having a balanced diet, regular exercise and adequate rest; and avoiding smoking.

Ends/Wednesday, April 8, 2015
Issued at HKT 14:45

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