FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2016

Additional case of bird flu brings total to 436 this year in China

Hong Kong health officials recently reported another case of avian influenza A H7N9, bringing the total number of cases reported this year to 436.

Avian flu cases have been reported in 18 areas in China. The regions of Zhejiang and Guangdong have been hit the hardest, with 139 and 109 reported cases, respectively. The latest case was reported in China's Hunan province in the south-central part of the country.

A spokesperson for the Hong Kong Department of Health (DH) said local health authorities are working with the World Health Organization and other authorities to contain the virus.

"In view of cases confirmed in the Mainland, further sporadic cases are expected in affected and possibly neighboring areas," the DH spokesman said. "Those planning to travel outside Hong Kong should maintain good personal, environmental and food hygiene at all times. All boundary control points have implemented disease prevention and control measures. Thermal imaging systems are in place for body temperature checks of inbound travelers. Suspected cases will be immediately referred to public hospitals for follow-up investigation."

Officials urged travelers returning from affected areas with respiratory symptoms or fever-especially those who have had exposure to poultry, birds or their droppings-to wear masks and seek medical attention.