Five new cases of avian influenza reported in Hong Kong

The Hong Kong Department of Health's Centre for Health Protection announced on Sunday five additional cases human cases of avian influenza A H7N9 from Guangdong Province, Zhejiang, Hunan and Fujian.

The new cases of infection increase the total amount of human cases of avian influenza A H7N9 to 280 on the Mainland. The CHP reaffirmed its commitment to uphold control and prevention measures to prevent the further spread of infection.

"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 also recommends all persons traveling outside of Hong Kong during the Lunar New Year continue personal hygiene practices and wear masks when appropriate to prevent against infection.

"In view of human cases of avian influenza A H7N9 confirmed in Hong Kong and multiple cases reported in the Mainland, the activity of the virus is expected to be higher in the winter season," the DH spokesman said. "Those planning to travel outside Hong Kong during the Lunar New Year should maintain good personal, environmental and food hygiene at all times."

The DH installed posters throughout the country to inform the public and travelers of the risk of avian influenza infection. It is recommended that anyone traveling through areas with known cases of infection wear masks and seek immediate medical attention if flu-like symptoms begin.