THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2016

CHP investigates imported human case of avian influenza infection

The Centre for Health Protection of the Hong Kong Department of Health announced on Wednesday that it is investigating a novel imported human case of avian influenza A H7N9 concerning a 65-year-old man.

The patient is a man from Sha Tin with underlying medical conditions. The patient experienced an onset of symptoms, including fever and cough, on February 8 and had a medical consultation at a private practice on February 9. He was admitted to Kwong Wah Hospital on Tuesday and is currently in critical condition.

The patient's cultures confirmed avian influenza A H7N9 infection; all the patient's contacts have been asymptomatic to date. The investigation is still underway but officials believe the patient may have contracted the virus when purchasing a slaughtered chicken in Kaiping on January 29.

The DH said that it is maintaining surveillance of the disease and monitoring suspected cases. The CHP will report any new findings to the World Health Organization, the Mainland and all relevant international health authorities.

"In view of human cases of avian influenza A H7N9 confirmed in Hong Kong and multiple cases notified by the Mainland, the activity of the virus is expected to be higher in the winter season," a DH spokesperson said. "Those planning to travel outside Hong Kong should maintain good personal, environmental and food hygiene at all times."