THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2016

Seven more avian flu cases diagnosed in China

Health officials in mainland China notified the Hong Kong Department of Health’s Centre for Health Protection of seven more cases of avian influenza (AH7N9) today.

Four of the cases originated in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. One case was confirmed in Jiangsu. Two cases were discovered in Zhejiang.

Five of the patients are men and two are women. Their ages range from 36 to 81.

Three patients from Xinjiang and one from Jiangsu are already deceased. Two other cases from Xinjiang and Zhejiang are classified as serious. Another Zhenjiang case is mild enough that the patient does not need to be hospitalized.

As of today, there have been 454 confirmed cases of avian influenza throughout the region.

Officials have increased public awareness of the illness through posters and broadcasts in travel hubs.

People who recently traveled from areas affected by avian influenza are especially susceptible. Health officials encourage travelers to wear masks, and give their physicians any information about their recent travels and request medical attention immediately if they exhibit signs of the virus.

People are also being told to avoid any contact with birds and bird droppings.

"All boundary control points have implemented disease prevention and control measures,” a department of health spokesman said. “Thermal imaging systems are in place for body temperature checks of inbound travellers. Suspected cases will be immediately referred to public hospitals for follow-up investigation.”

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