Hong Kong CHP announces eight new avian flu cases

Hong Kong's Department of Health's Centre of Health Protection announced on Saturday that it received notice of eight additional human cases of avian influenza A H7N9 infections from the National Health and Family Planning Commission.

The new cases bring the total number of human cases of avian influenza A H7N9 on the Mainland to 195. All eight infected persons are currently hospitalized for treatment and the DH confirmed its commitment to be diligent in its surveillance of the progression of the virus.

"Locally, enhanced disease surveillance, port health measures and health education against avian influenza are ongoing," a DH spokesman said. "We will remain vigilant and maintain liaison with the World Health Organization and relevant health authorities. Local surveillance activities will be modified upon the WHO's recommendations."

The DH committed to implementing preventative and control measures for countering the spread of infection, including body temperature checks and getting persons with suspected infections tested immediately.

"All boundary control points have implemented disease prevention and control measures," the spokesman said. "Thermal imaging systems are in place for body temperature checks of inbound travelers. Random temperature checks by handheld devices will also be arranged. Suspected cases will be immediately referred to public hospitals for follow-up investigation."

The DH asks the public to take precautions against infection, which include refraining from the handling of poultry, thoroughly cooking all poultry and eggs before consumption and keeping good hygiene practices.