Hong Kong CHP announces six new cases of avian flu on Mainland

The Hong Kong Department of Health's Centre for Health Protection announced on Saturday six novel human cases of avian influenza A H7N9 infections on the Mainland and urged the public to take precautions against infection.

As of Saturday, the total of human cases of avian influenza A H7N9 rose to 237 on the Mainland. The DH affirmed its commitment to monitor the progression of the disease and enhance preventative methods, including education.

"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 has numerous disease prevention and control infrastructure established throughout the nation, including thermal imaging systems and random temperature checks of inbound travelers and residents.

"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 recommends travelers and residents seek medical attention immediately following the onset of flu-like symptoms. The DH also recommends persons refrain from the handling of live birds, poultry or their droppings.

"Travelers, especially those returning from avian influenza-affected areas and provinces with fever or respiratory symptoms, should immediately wear masks, seek medical attention and reveal their travel history to doctors," the spokesman said. "Health-care professionals should pay special attention to patients who might have had contact with poultry, birds or their droppings in affected areas and provinces."