SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2016

Hong Kong confirms first case of avian flu

Hong Kong has been hit with its first case of avian flu, Hong Kong's Department of Health said Monday.

The Department of Health on Monday confirmed the first human case of A(H7N9) in Hong Kong this winter in a female and has once again recommended that the public maintain the strictest of personal, food and environmental hygiene practices.

Further investigations by the Centre for Health Protection (CHP), under the Department of Health, have been successful in locating a source -- two individuals who traveled with a patient to Shenzhen on Dec. 13. These two individuals said the trio visited a wet market in Niulanqian, Bao'an, Shenzhen and bought vegetables, but did not purchase or have contact with live chickens sold there. Both people have remained asymptomatic for more than 10 days (the avian flu incubation period) since their last contact with the infected patient and have since been put under medical surveillance.

Investigations also show that the patient had consulted and visited two doctors practicing in the same clinic on both Dec. 19 and Dec. 23. The CHP has reached one of the physicians, while the other is currently out of town. The patient underwent a chest X-ray examination on Dec. 23 and follow-up is ongoing.

The one doctor that the CHP has reached said the patient did not reveal her travel history during consultations. The clinic staff has remained asymptomatic and also has been put under medical surveillance.

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