Hong Kong's CHP announces additional human case of avian bird flu

The Hong Kong Department of Health's Centre for Health Protection recently announced an additional confirmed human case of avian influenza H7N9, the third confirmed human case to have developed in Hong Kong.

The newest case involves a man of 65 years old with underlying medical conditions. He lives in Sham Shui Po, but it is believed that he contracted the bird flu passing by a wet market while visiting a family member in Shenzhen. The family member will be under quarantine and medical surveillance for 10 days to prevent the potential spread of infection.

The man fell ill on January 3 with a fever, shortness of breath and coughing. He was admitted to the Accident and Emergency section of Queen Mary Hospital on Jan. 7 for chest infection. Later that day, he was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit and is currently at the hospital in critical condition.

The CHP announced that it will remain diligent in the monitoring and surveillance of the disease. It will keep all medical facilities in Hong Kong, the World Health Organization, the National Health and Family Planning Commission and health authorities in Guangdong and Macau informed of the status of the virus as it progresses.

The CHP also advised the public to take precautions against infection by refraining from the handling of poultry and its feces and staying away from persons with suspected infections. The CHP also recommends that anyone who must handle poultry take precautions against infection, which includes the frequent washing of hands, the wearing of masks when appropriate and the thorough cooking of poultry and eggs before consumption.