For the second time this season Hong Kong has detected an imported case of H7N9, the first case being reported just shy of a month ago (see Hong Kong: An Imported Case Of H7N9).
Today's case makes the 15th imported H7N9 case to be detected in Hong Kong since the virus emerged in the spring of 2013.
In addition to the patient, the CHP has identified 11 close contacts, including two daughters reporting headache and malaise, who have been transferred to HAIDC (Hospital Authority Infectious Disease Centre) for management.
Additional contact tracing is underway.
Last year, in HK SCEZD: Management Of Contacts of Human Avian Flu Cases, we looked at the protocol used in managing asymptomatic contacts of cases. They include:
- Antiviral prophylaxis with oseltamivir (tamiflu) for 5 days
- Medical surveillance is to be undertaken for 10 days after the last exposure
- Close contacts should wear a face mask for 10 days since last exposure
- If the close contacts are contraindicated / intolerant to or refuse antiviral prophylaxis with oseltamivir, they should be put under quarantine for 10 days since last exposure.
Here is the report from HK CHP on today's imported case.
CHP investigates imported human case of avian influenza A(H7N9)
The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) is today (March 18) investigating the second imported human case of avian influenza A(H7N9) infection in Hong Kong this year affecting an 81-year-old woman.
The patient, with underlying illnesses, travelled to Kaiping, Guangdong on March 5. She has presented with malaise, headache, shortness of breath and fever since March 10 and was admitted to a hospital in Kaiping between March 14 and 16. Upon return to Hong Kong on March 17, she attended the Accident and Emergency Department of Caritas Medical Centre on the same day and was subsequently admitted for management of pneumonia.
The patient's nasopharyngeal aspirate tested positive for avian influenza A(H7N9) virus upon laboratory testing by the Public Health Laboratory Services Branch of the CHP. The patient has been admitted to the Hospital Authority Infectious Disease Centre (HAIDC) in Princess Margaret Hospital for further management. She is now in stable condition.
Initial investigations by the CHP revealed that the patient visited a wet market near her residence in Kaiping during her stay in the Mainland and reported no direct poultry contact. Among 11 close contacts of the patient identified so far, two daughters have developed headache and malaise since March 16 and 17 respectively. They have been transferred to HAIDC for management. Other close contacts remain asymptomatic. Tracing of the patient’s contact in Hong Kong is ongoing.
The CHP's investigation is continuing.
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