CHP notified of four novel cases of avian influenza A H7N9

The Centre for Health Protection of the Hong Kong Department of Health announced on Monday it was notified of four novel human cases of avian influenza A H7N9, bringing the total number of cases to 361 in the Mainland.

The cases involve a 76-year-old man, 33-year-old man, 75-year-old woman and 55-year-old woman. All patients are currently being hospitalized for treatment.

The CHP was also notified a five-year-old girl was recently treated for avian influenza A H5 and made a full recovery.

The CHP said it will continue surveillance and control measures of the disease. It expects the activity of the virus to continue throughout the winter season and asked the public to mind its personal and food hygiene to protect themselves against infection.

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

The CHP has installed posters at airports and is distributing pamphlets throughout the nation to increase awareness about the vaccine in travelers. The CHP recommends travelers wear masks in areas with influenza prevalence and seek medical attention immediately if symptoms arise.

The CHP asked the public to take precautions in the handling and consumption of poultry and eggs, including avoiding live poultry markets and farms, thoroughly cooking poultry and eggs before consumption and the frequent washing of hands when handling food or eating.