Monday, February 06, 2017

Macao Takes Steps To Protect EMS Crews From H7N9


There's a small notice - published today by Macao's Government Portal - which announces new steps to be taken by their local Emergency Medical Services (Ambulance & Fire) to protect personnel, and patients, from H7N9.
With reports of greatly increased infections on the Mainland, two local cases and two detections of the virus in Macao poultry markets this year, officials there are almost certainly feeling surrounded.
As we've discussed ad nauseam these past couple of months, while China's H7N9 epidemic is obviously much bigger this year than we've seen in the past, exactly how big is (thus far) difficult to ascertain (see The Skies Aren't They Only Thing Hazy In China).
We get scattered reports from a few provinces, but for the most part information is slow to emerge from the hardest hit regions (Guangdong, Zhejiang, Jiangsu, etc.).
Given this lack of data, we've been closely watching both Hong Kong's and Macao's response, for any signs that their alert level has increased.

While not exactly an alarm bell, Macao has announced that:
  • All firefighters and ambulance personnel will begin daily temperature checks, more stringent ambulance cleaning and disinfection procedures will be implemented, and personnel will receive additional training and information on H7N9.
  • Dispatchers and EMS personnel will also attempt to screen patients with `flu-like symptoms' -  particularly those recent exposure to birds -  and don PPEs (Personal Protective Equipment) if avian flu is suspected. 
  • And lastly, those with `flu-like' symptoms and recent exposure to birds are being urged to utilize ambulance transport to the hospital, to avoid exposing others.
All pretty reasonable steps, under the circumstances, but also evidence of a ratcheting up of their concerns.


Macao on the recent occurrence H7 subtypes of avian flu incident, the Fire Department has been closely watched the development of such infectious diseases, and will take appropriate measures, including: probe temperature will frontline firefighters and ambulance strengthened daily cleaning , there are also regular internal exercises to strengthen the awareness of firefighters.

According to the actual situation, a fire station, upon emergency ambulance service for help, firefighters will callers to query whether the patient has a fever, cough, breathing difficulties and other symptoms and whether contact with birds, etc., if the suspected cases, firefighters will take appropriate protective measures, including equipped with masks and wearing protective clothing, and as soon as the patients sent to hospital for treatment.

Fire Department appeal to the public, such as symptoms of fever, coughing, breathing difficulties, and the case had contact with poultry should avoid self-referred, and to make use of the Fire Department ambulance to avoid possible that other people infected , fire station helpline: 119,120,28572222.

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