SUNDAY, JUNE 24, 2018

Hong Kong Department of Health monitors two new avian flu cases in China

The Hong Kong Department of Health's (DH) Centre for Health Protection (CHP) said on Friday that it is closely monitoring two new cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) on mainland China.

The two men, aged 69 and 58, were hospitalized for treatment last week in the Anhui province.

DH has implemented prevention and control measures at Hong Kong's ports and airports, including thermal imaging and random temperature checks by handheld devices. Health information for travelers is displayed on posters in arrival and departure halls, and given on in-flight public announcements. The travel industry is also receiving regular updates about the potential spread of avian influenza.

"We will remain vigilant and maintain liaison with the WHO and relevant health authorities," a DH spokesman said. "Local surveillance activities will be modified upon the WHO's recommendations."

The spokesman said that travelers, especially those who have visited avian flu-infected areas, should wear respiratory masks and seek medical attention if they are experiencing fever or respiratory problems.

DH also said that members of the public should take preemptive measures to prevent the spread of avian influenza, including avoiding poultry markets and thoroughly cooking poultry and eggs before eating.

A total of 429 cases of avian influenza have been reported in China, including 41 in Shanghai and four in Beijing.

Symptoms of avian flu resemble those of traditional flu, including fever and headaches. Some patients also experience nausea, diarrhea or vomiting.