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Hong Kong Centre for Health Protection announces 49 additional H7N9 cases in the last 6 weeks with no detail - February 4, 2015 - most previously known

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  • Hong Kong Centre for Health Protection announces 49 additional H7N9 cases in the last 6 weeks with no detail - February 4, 2015 - most previously known

    4 February 2015
    CHP notified of additional human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Mainland
    The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) today (February 4) received notification of 49 additional human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) in the past six weeks from the National Health and Family Planning Commission and Health and Family Planning Commission of Guangdong Province , and again urged the public to maintain strict personal, food and environmental hygiene both locally and during travel.

    The patients comprise 38 men and 11 women aged from one to 88 and nine of them (eight men and one woman) died. 30 cases are from Fujian, 10 from Zhejiang, seven from Jiangsu, one from Guangdong and one from Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (Xinjiang).

    To date, 555 human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) have been reported by the Mainland health authorities, respectively in Zhejiang (156 cases), Guangdong (145 cases), Jiangsu (70 cases), Fujian (58 cases), Shanghai (44 cases), Hunan (24 cases), Anhui (17 cases), Xinjiang (10 cases), Jiangxi (nine cases), Shandong (six cases), Beijing (five cases), Henan (four cases), Guangxi (three cases), Jilin (two cases), Guizhou (one case) and Hebei (one case).

    "Locally, we will remain vigilant and work closely with the World Health Organization and relevant health authorities to monitor the latest developments," a spokesman for the DH said.

    All boundary control points have implemented health surveillance measures. Thermal imaging systems are in place for body temperature checks on inbound travellers. Suspected cases will be immediately referred to public hospitals for follow-up. The DH's Port Health Office has enhanced body temperature checks with handheld devices.

    Regarding health education for travellers, the display of posters and broadcasting of health messages in departure and arrival halls, environmental health inspection and provision of regular updates to the travel industry and other stakeholders will be enhanced.

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

    The public should remain vigilant and take heed of the advice against avian influenza below:

    * Do not visit live poultry markets and farms. Avoid contact with poultry, birds or their droppings;
    * If contact has been made, thoroughly wash hands with soap;
    * Avoid entering areas where poultry may be slaughtered and contact with surfaces which might be contaminated by droppings of poultry or other animals;
    * Poultry and eggs should be thoroughly cooked before eating;
    * Wash hands frequently with soap, especially before touching the mouth, nose or eyes, handling food or eating; after going to the toilet or touching public installations or equipment (including escalator handrails, elevator control panels and door knobs); and when hands are dirtied by respiratory secretions after coughing or sneezing;
    * Cover the nose and mouth while sneezing or coughing, hold the spit with a tissue and put it into a covered dustbin;
    * Avoid crowded places and contact with fever patients; and
    * Wear masks when respiratory symptoms develop or when taking care of fever patients.

    The public may visit the pages below for more information:

    * The CHP's avian influenza page (; and
    * Global statistics and affected areas of avian influenza in the CHP's website (

    Ends/Wednesday, February 4, 2015

  • #2
    Most of these "new" cases are previously known. We have documented that the CHP was behind by 38 cases. Apparently there are an additional 11 cases but there is no visibility into who these cases are. For instance, out of the 49 mentioned above, the CHP only mentions 1 additional case from Guangdong province but there are at least 2 cases not previously announced by the CHP:

    36) #529 - Female, 20, [Shen], hospitalized, from Shanwei city, Haifeng, Guangdong province

    37) #530 - Male, 52, [Hwang], hospitalized in critical condition, from Jieyang Rongcheng district, Guangdong province

    Without any details into who these 49 are, it must be assumed that a large majority of these cases are previously known and some fraction are new. This is unfortunate. The CHP count is not verifiable. We can not tie the CHP case count to anything at this point

    We will continue to list cases that have documentation from provincial and central health departments.