CHP investigates confirmed human case of avian flu

The Hong Kong Department of Health's Centre for Health Protection said on Tuesday that the first confirmed human case of avian influenza, which was found in a 36-year-old woman, has triggered an investigation and follow-up actions.

"The Serious Response Level under the Government's Preparedness Plan for Influenza Pandemic has been activated while the CHP's epidemiological investigation and follow-up actions are currently in full swing," a spokesman for CHP said.

The CHP reported that close contacts of the infected woman have been quarantined and prescribed Tamiflu prophylaxis. All 17 contacts have tested negative for avian influenza, except for six patients who shared a cubicle with the patient in Tuen Mun Hospital and are waiting for laboratory test results.

More than 200 of the patient's contacts are under medical surveillance and were offered Tamiflu prophylaxis. The CHP's investigation is ongoing.

The CHP has increased surveillance in public and private hospitals, as well as issued informational letters to schools, child care centers and residential care homes.

"The confirmed case has been notified to the World Health Organization, the National Health and Family Planning Commission, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of the Mainland as well as health and quarantine authorities of Guangdong, Zhuhai and Macau," the CHP spokesman said.