|FAO H7N9 Epidemic Waves - June 14th|
In what is hopefully a sign of the long-awaited summer slowdown in China's H7N9 cases, today the NHFPC notified Hong Kong of only 5 new H7N9 cases this past week.
I would note, however, these cases had onsets between April 25 to June 6, suggesting there continues to be delays in reporting, and there could be others in the pipeline.Cases, as usual, skew heavily (80%) towards adult males, with the youngest case reported to be 41. Three of the five reportedly had exposure to live birds or poultry markets.
The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (June 16) is monitoring a notification from the National Health and Family Planning Commission that five additional human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9), including one death, were recorded from June 9 to 15, and strongly urged the public to maintain strict personal, food and environmental hygiene both locally and during travel.
The four male patients and one female, who came from Beijing, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hunan and Zhejiang and were aged from 41 to 68, had onset from April 25 to June 6. Among them, three were known to have exposure to poultry or poultry markets.
Travellers to the Mainland or other affected areas must avoid visiting wet markets, live poultry markets or farms. They should be alert to the presence of backyard poultry when visiting relatives and friends. They should also avoid purchase of live or freshly slaughtered poultry, and avoid touching poultry/birds or their droppings. They should strictly observe personal and hand hygiene when visiting any place with live poultry.
Travellers returning from affected areas should consult a doctor promptly if symptoms develop, and inform the doctor of their travel history for prompt diagnosis and treatment of potential diseases. It is essential to tell the doctor if they have seen any live poultry during travel, which may imply possible exposure to contaminated environments. This will enable the doctor to assess the possibility of avian influenza and arrange necessary investigations and appropriate treatment in a timely manner.
While local surveillance, prevention and control measures are in place, the CHP will remain vigilant and work closely with the World Health Organization and relevant health authorities to monitor the latest developments.
The CHP's Port Health Office conducts health surveillance measures at all boundary control points. Thermal imaging systems are in place for body temperature checks on inbound travellers. Suspected cases will be immediately referred to public hospitals for follow-up.
The display of posters and broadcasting of health messages in departure and arrival halls as health education for travellers is under way. The travel industry and other stakeholders are regularly updated on the latest information.
Ends/Friday, June 16, 2017
Issued at HKT 18:15