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Hong Kong (PRC SAR): Epidemiological Surveillance Updates from Centre of Heath Protection and other govt agencies (January to March 2009)

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  • Hong Kong (PRC SAR): Epidemiological Surveillance Updates from Centre of Heath Protection and other govt agencies (January to March 2009)

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  • #2
    Re: Hong Kong (PRC SAR): Epidemiological Surveillance Updates from Centre of Heath Protection and other govt agencies (January 2009+)

    Hong Kong: CHP investigating case of Legionnaires' Disease (1/2/2009) [CHP]

    The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (January 2) investigating a case of Legionnaires' Disease (LD) involving a 38-year-old tourist.


    The man developed fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle pain and cough on December 27.

    He was admitted to private hospitals for treatment on December 31 and is now in critical condition.

    CHP's investigations revealed that during the incubation period, he had stayed in a relative's home on Lantau Island, and had also travelled to Mainland China.

    This is the first Legionnaire's Disease case reported this year.

    13 cases were reported in 2008, 11 in 2007 and 16 in 2006.

    To prevent the disease, people are reminded to observe the following:
    * An individual may reduce their susceptibility to the disease by avoiding smoking and excessive drinking, and maintaining good health;
    * People handling garden soils, composts and potting mixes should take the following precautions:
    - Gently water gardens and composts using low pressure;
    - Open composted potting mixes slowly and make sure the opening is directed away from the face;
    - Wet the soil to reduce dust when potting plants;
    - Prevent working in poorly ventilated places such as enclosed greenhouses; and
    - Wash hands carefully afterwards;
    * Proper design, operation and maintenance of man-made water systems.

    For more information about good practices to be followed in the design, installation, operation and maintenance of man-made water systems, please visit the website of the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (http://www.emsd.gov.hk/emsd/eng/pps/oa_ld_pub_cp.shtml) for the Code of Practice published by the Prevention of Legionnaires' Disease Committee in 2007.

    Information on LD and advice on preventive measures can also be found in CHP's website (http://www.chp.gov.hk).
    -

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    • #3
      Re: Hong Kong (PRC SAR): Epidemiological Surveillance Updates from Centre of Heath Protection and other govt agencies (January 2009+)

      Hong Kong: Imported case of Chikungunya fever confirmed (1/2/2009) [CHP]

      The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) today (January 2) urged people to be on guard against mosquito-borne diseases when travelling overseas, following confirmation of an imported case of Chikungunya fever.


      The patient, a 44-year-old man, arrived in Hong Kong on December 29 and was admitted to the Princess Margaret Hospital the same day.

      He had onset of fever and mild sore throat on December 26 while he was in Malaysia. He has recovered and was discharged on December 30.

      Laboratory test results available today confirmed that he was infected by the Chikungunya virus.

      His seven travel companions did not have any symptoms.

      A CHP spokesman said two imported cases of Chikungunya fever were confirmed in 2008. He said epidemics had occurred in Africa, Asia and Indian Ocean Islands.

      "The Chikungunya virus is transmitted to humans by infected Aedes mosquitoes. The disease is characterised by fever, headache, and joint pain of the wrist, knee, ankle, and small joints.
      "Some patients may develop a rash affecting the trunk and limbs. The illness is usually self-limiting (will go away without treatment) and lasts for three to 10 days, although the joint pain may last for weeks to months. The incubation period is one to 12 days," he said.

      There is no vaccine for Chikungunya fever.

      People are reminded to stay alert to mosquito-borne diseases.

      Travellers should adopt the following measures to avoid mosquito bites when travelling overseas:
      * Avoid visiting mosquito-infested areas.
      * Avoid visiting forests or areas with monkeys;
      * Wear long-sleeved clothes and long trousers light in colour for protection against mosquitoes;
      * Use insect repellent on exposed parts of the body.
      * Use mosquito screens or nets when the room is not air-conditioned.
      * Travellers returning from countries where Chikungunya fever is endemic and suffering from symptoms of the disease should seek prompt medical advice.

      The latest information on infectious diseases in other places can be found under "Outbreak News" on the Hong Kong Travel Health Service website (http://www.travelhealth.gov.hk/eindex.html).
      -

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      • #4
        Re: Hong Kong (PRC SAR): Epidemiological Surveillance Updates from Centre of Heath Protection and other govt agencies (January 2009+)

        Hong Kong: Be vigilant against community-associated MRSA (1/6/2009) [CHP]

        The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (January 6) called on people to be vigilant against infection from community-associated Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) - a drug resistant bacterium.


        The appeal was made following CHP's investigation into a confirmed CA-MRSA case involving a 50-year-old man living in Sham Shui Po.

        He was involved in a traffic accident and suffered from head injury on December 16.

        He was admitted to Princess Margaret Hospital on the same day.

        His condition later deteriorated and passed away on December 23. During hospitalization, the patient developed pneumonia and his sputum grew CA-MRSA. The case has been referred to the Coroner.

        MRSA is a type of bacteria that is resistant to beta-lactam antibiotics. It is a common infection worldwide and is usually associated with hospital settings. In recent years, many countries observed MRSA infections in healthy individuals who have not been hospitalized or stayed in other healthcare facilities or institutions, nor received medical procedures in the past one year prior to onset of symptoms.

        They are known as CA-MRSA infections and usually have different patterns of antibiotic resistance. It is widely recognized that indiscriminate use of antibiotics may contribute to antibiotics resistance.

        Members of the public are advised not to use antibiotics without medical professional advice. If they are advised by doctors to take antibiotics, they should take the medicine according to the prescribed frequency and dosage and complete the whole course.

        The risk of transmission can be minimized by maintaining good personal hygiene including washing hands with soap frequently and wearing gloves when touching soiled items.

        For further information on CA-MRSA, please visit the CHP website: http://www.chp.gov.hk.
        View Original Article

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        • #5
          Re: Hong Kong (PRC SAR): Epidemiological Surveillance Updates from Centre of Heath Protection and other govt agencies (January 2009+)

          Hong Kong: Outbreaks of upper respiratory tract infection under close watch (1/6/2009) [CHP]

          The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (January 6) urged members of the public and management of institutions to take preventive measures against respiratory tract infection by observing strict environmental and personal hygiene.


          The appeal was made during the CHP's investigation of reports of an outbreak of upper respiratory tract infection in an elderly home in Kwun Tong and a residential care home for the disabled (RCHD) in Kwai Chung, affecting a total of 45 people.

          In the first case, 23 people at the elderly home were affected. Fifteen residents and eight staff members, comprising eight men and 15 women aged from 29 to 94, developed symptoms of upper respiratory tract infection, including fever, cough, runny nose and sore throat between December 1, 2008, and January 4 this year.

          Fifteen of the affected had sought medical attention and required no hospitalisation. All are in stable condition.

          Twenty-two residents of the RCHD, comprising 13 males and nine females aged from 25 to 57, developed symptoms of upper respiratory tract infection between December 27, 2008, and January 4 this year. All of the affected had consulted doctors.

          None of them required hospitalisation. All are in stable condition.

          CHP officials have conducted field visits to the institutions and provided health advice to the staff.

          To prevent respiratory tract infection, the public are advised to adopt the following measures:
          * Build up good body immunity by having a proper diet, regular exercise and adequate rest, reducing stress and avoiding smoking;
          * Maintain good personal hygiene, wash hands after sneezing or coughing, and wear a mask when having symptoms of respiratory tract infection;
          * Maintain good ventilation; and
          * Avoid visiting crowded places with poor ventilation.

          Members of the public, particularly children, elderly people and those with chronic diseases, should wear face masks and consult doctors promptly if they develop symptoms of respiratory tract infection.


          View Original Article

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          • #6
            Re: Hong Kong (PRC SAR): Epidemiological Surveillance Updates from Centre of Heath Protection and other govt agencies (January 2009+)

            Hong Kong: Gene sequencing of H9N2 virus shows avian origin (1/7/2009) [CHP]

            The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (January 7) completed gene sequencing on an influenza A (H9N2) virus found in a two-month-old girl in December and the results indicated all the genes were of avian origin.


            A CHP spokesman said all the eight genes of the virus sample taken from the girl had been sequenced.

            "DNA sequences of the genes concerned show that they are of avian origin and re-assortment with genes of human influenza origin has not been found.

            "The virus is highly similar to the H9N2 virus isolated from another case involving a nine-month-old girl in 2007," he said.

            The spokesman said the virus found in the two-month-old girl was sensitive to Tamiflu and Amantadine, two kinds of antiviral medicines.

            The girl is still under treatment in Tuen Mun Hospital for another disease.

            Her symptoms of H9N2 infection have subsided.

            Nasopharyngeal aspirate specimens taken from the girl on January 2 were tested negative for influenza A H9N2.

            All close contacts of the girl did not develop symptoms of H9N2 infection.

            "The epidemiological and genetic findings so far suggest that the H9N2 virus has shown no signs of increased risk for human-to-human transmission," the spokesman said.
            -

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            • #7
              Re: Hong Kong (PRC SAR): Epidemiological Surveillance Updates from Centre of Heath Protection and other govt agencies (January 2009+)

              Hong Kong: CHP investigating a case of Legionnaires' Disease (1/8/2009) [CHP]

              The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (January 8) investigating a case of Legionnaires' Disease (LD) involving a 51-year-old male tourist.


              The man developed fever, headache, cough and shortness of breath on December 31, 2008, while travelling on the Mainland. He arrived in Hong Kong on January 4 and was admitted to a private hospital on Hong Kong Island on January 6. The laboratory investigation confirmed Legionnaires' Disease today.

              He is currently in the hospital in stable condition.

              Family members travelling with him were asymptomatic.

              This is the second case of Legionnaire's Disease reported this year. Thirteen cases were reported in 2008, 11 in 2007 and 16 in 2006.

              To prevent the disease, people are reminded to observe the following:
              * People may reduce their susceptibility to the disease by avoiding smoking and excessive drinking, and maintaining good health.
              * People handling garden soils, composts and potting mixes should take the following precautions:
              - Gently water gardens and composts using low pressure.
              - Open composted potting mixes slowly and make sure the opening is directed away from the face.
              - Wet the soil to reduce dust when potting plants.
              - Avoid working in poorly ventilated places such as enclosed greenhouses and
              - Wash hands carefully afterwards.
              * Ensure proper design, operation and maintenance of man-made water systems.

              For more information about good practices to be followed in the design, installation, operation and maintenance of man-made water systems, please visit the website of the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (www.emsd.gov.hk/emsd/eng/pps/oa_ld_pub_cp.shtml) for the Code of Practice published by the Prevention of Legionnaires' Disease Committee in 2007.

              Information on LD and advice on preventive measures can also be found on the CHP's website (www.chp.gov.hk).
              -

              View Original Article

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              • #8
                Re: Hong Kong (PRC SAR): Epidemiological Surveillance Updates from Centre of Heath Protection and other govt agencies (January 2009+)

                Hong Kong: Tuen Mun Hospital reports gastroenteritis cases (1/8/2009)

                The following is issued on behalf of the Hospital Authority: A Tuen Mun Hospital (TMH) spokesperson made the following announcement today (January 8):

                Since January 2, three female patients (aged 74 to 90) and three staff members of a medical ward have presented with vomiting and diarrhoea symptoms.


                Appropriate tests were arranged for the patients.

                Two of them are positive for both Norovirus and Rotavirus, and one of them is positive for Norovirus.

                The patients are being treated under isolation and they are in stable condition.

                The three staff concerned are now on leave and they are in stable condition.

                Admission to the ward has been suspended.

                Restricted visiting of and discharge from the ward has been imposed.

                Patients' relatives have been informed about the situation. Infection control measures in the ward concerned have already been steeped up.

                All other patients and the staff in the ward are under close surveillance.

                The cases have been reported to the Hospital Authority head office and the Centre for Health Protection for follow up.
                -

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                • #9
                  Re: Hong Kong (PRC SAR): Epidemiological Surveillance Updates from Centre of Heath Protection and other govt agencies (January 2009+)

                  Hong Kong: Public reminded to guard against meningococcal infection (1/8/2009) [CHP]

                  The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (January 8) received a report of a confirmed case of meningococcal infection, a communicable disease transmitted by direct contact with infected persons' droplets.


                  The case involved a one-and-a-half-month-old boy living in Kwai Tsing District who developed fever, loss of appetite and skin rash on January 6. He was admitted to Princess Margaret Hospital on the same day. He is now in stable condition.

                  The CHP's investigations revealed that the patient has no travel history within the incubation period.

                  His home contacts did not have symptoms of meningococcal infection.

                  A spokesman for the CHP said that meningococcal infection is caused by a bacterium known as meningococcus. It is transmitted by direct contact, including droplets from the nose and throat of infected people.

                  The incubation period varies from two to 10 days, commonly three to four days.

                  The clinical picture may be variable.

                  Severe illness may result when the bacteria invade the bloodstream (causing meningococcaemia) or the brain (causing meningitis). Meningococcaemia is characterised by the sudden onset of fever, intense headache, purpura, shock and even death in severe cases.

                  Meningitis is characterised by the sudden onset of intense headache, fever, nausea, vomiting, photophobia and stiff neck.

                  Early cases can be treated effectively with antibiotics.

                  No confirmed cases of meningococcal infection were reported in 2008.

                  For the period between 2003 and 2007, two to six confirmed cases had been reported to DH each year.

                  Members of the public are advised to:
                  * Wash hands frequently, and observe good personal and environmental hygiene;
                  * Avoid crowded places;
                  * Avoid close contact with patients who have fever or severe headache;
                  * Cover nose and mouth while sneezing or coughing, and hold the spit with tissue, discard it into a bin with a lid and wash hands immediately.

                  The public can visit the CHP's website www.chp.gov.hk for general information about the disease.
                  -

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                  • #10
                    Re: Hong Kong (PRC SAR): Epidemiological Surveillance Updates from Centre of Heath Protection and other govt agencies (January 2009+)

                    Hong Kong: Exercise Redwood to test designated clinics' activation procedures (1/9/2009) [CHP]

                    The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health will tomorrow (January 10) conduct an interdepartmental exercise to assess contingency plans relating to the activation and running of designated clinics.


                    Under the framework of the HKSAR Government's Preparedness Plan for Influenza Pandemic, designated clinics will be set up, as necessary, to triage patients with influenza-like illness at the primary care level when the Serious Response Level is activated by a confirmed human case of avian influenza, a CHP spokesman said.

                    Ground movement including triage and provision of medical treatment to patients, and transfer of the serious cases to hospitals, will take place at the Shau Kei Wan Jockey Club Clinic where a designated clinic would be activated.

                    The spokesman added that the exercise could identify areas for improvement and enhance the ability of frontline staff to handle major outbreaks of infectious disease.

                    More than 200 participants from six organisations will take part in the exercise.

                    Thirteen experts from the Mainland and Macau will attend as observers.
                    -

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                    • #11
                      Re: Hong Kong (PRC SAR): Epidemiological Surveillance Updates from Centre of Heath Protection and other govt agencies (January 2009+)

                      Hong Kong: Tuen Mun Hospital gastroenteritis cases updates (1/9/2009) [CHP]

                      The following is issued on behalf of the Hospital Authority:

                      Regarding a medical ward of Tuen Mun Hospital in which some patients and staff had presented with vomiting and diarrhoea symptoms, the hospital spokesman announced the following update today (January 9):


                      Two more female patients (aged 47 and 50) and one more staff member of the concerned ward have presented with vomiting and diarrhoea symptoms today.

                      Appropriate tests had been arranged for the patients, and the results are pending.

                      The patients are being treated under isolation whilst the staff member is on sick leave.

                      So far, five patients and four staff members have presented with vomiting and diarrhoea symptoms.

                      All are in stable condition.

                      Admission to the ward has been suspended.

                      Restricted visiting to and discharge from the ward has been imposed.

                      Patients' relatives have been informed about the situation.

                      Infection control measures in the ward concerned have already been stepped up. All other patients and the staff in the ward are under close surveillance.

                      The cases have been reported to the Hospital Authority and the Centre for Health Protection for follow up.
                      -

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                      • #12
                        Re: Hong Kong (PRC SAR): Epidemiological Surveillance Updates from Centre of Heath Protection and other govt agencies (January 2009+)

                        Hong Kong: Exercise Redwood to test government response to human avian flu cases (1/10/2009) [CHP]

                        The arrangements for setting up designated clinics (DC) in the event of occurrences of human cases of avian influenza were tested today (January 10) during an exercise organised by the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health.


                        Code-named Redwood, the exercise was to examine, evaluate and refine contingency plans related to the activation and running of a designated clinic. The areas tested included the management of patients with fever or symptoms of influenza-like illness (ILI), the triage and provision of immediate medical treatment to patients, as well as response actions of different public service units in the building where the designated clinic was located.

                        More than 200 participants from six organisations took part in the exercise.

                        Thirteen experts from the Mainland and Macau attended as observers.

                        The exercise scenario unfolded when a staff member of the Agricultural, Fisheries and Conservation Department, who took part in a territory-wide poultry culling operation, and a boy, who had close contact with a dead bird in a park on Hong Kong Island, developed ILI symptoms and were admitted to hospitals. They were later confirmed to have been infected with avian influenza H5N1.

                        Following the detection of human avian flu cases, the consultation rate for ILI at the Accident and Emergency Department of public hospitals on Hong Kong Island surged rapidly. The Hospital Authority decided to activate four designated clinics on Hong Kong Island to share the clinical workload and triaging patients with ILI.

                        Two patients with severe ILI symptoms were transferred to Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital for further management. Those with mild symptoms received medical treatment in the designated clinic.

                        In response to the activation of the designated clinic, the Elderly Health Centre, Chest Clinic and the Hong Kong AIDS Foundation located in the same building adopted necessary arrangements. The Secretary for Food and Health, Dr York Chow, accompanied by the Director of Health, Dr PY Lam, visited the designated clinic to observe frontline operations.

                        Dr Chow stressed the importance of putting in place the contingency plan to activate designated clinics during major infectious disease outbreaks, especially those involving a lot of patients who needed to be assessed and triaged at primary care level to reduce the workload of hospitals.

                        "There should be well planned procedures for the activation and running of designated clinics which include strict infection control measure, efficient triage system, and effective communication and collaboration amongst different units," he said.

                        He expressed gratitude to the participants for their efforts that contributed to the smooth running of the exercise.

                        Dr Lam said that CHP had been conducting regular exercises to test the preparedness of government departments and relevant organisations to combat major infectious disease outbreaks and public health emergencies.

                        "Today's exercise provided a valuable opportunity for the Department of Health and other concerned organisations to put to the test relevant contingency plans and identify early, areas for improvement in the system," he said.

                        Government departments and non-government organisations taking part in Exercise Redwood were Food and Health Bureau, Department of Health, Hospital Authority, Hong Kong AIDS Foundation, Auxiliary Medical Service, and Fire Services Department.
                        -

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                        • #13
                          Re: Hong Kong (PRC SAR): Epidemiological Surveillance Updates from Centre of Heath Protection and other govt agencies (January 2009+)

                          Thank you IOH.
                          "May the long time sun
                          Shine upon you,
                          All love surround you,
                          And the pure light within you
                          Guide your way on."

                          "Where your talents and the needs of the world cross, lies your calling."
                          Aristotle

                          “In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”
                          Mohandas Gandhi

                          Be the light that is within.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            HK: bird flu clinic exercise completed

                            Translation from Chinese
                            Public health
                            *
                            Induction variable bird clinics exercise completed
                            *
                            Mangrove exercises
                            Careful observation: Food and noose Health Secretary York Chow
                            <TABLE border=0 cellSpacing=0 borderColor=red cellPadding=3 width=255 background=/NR/ebulletin/Images/tc/themes/HealthAndCommunity/poll_background.gif><TBODY><TR><TD></TD></TR><TR><TD>

                            </TD></TR><TR><TD></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>(right 2) in the designated triage clinics to inspect the patient's condition.
                            *
                            Noose Center for Health Protection today (January 10) at code-named "mangrove" exercise to test human bird flu cases, the arrangements for the establishment of the designated clinics.

                            From six government departments and agencies a total of more than 200 officers participated in the exercise, the Mainland and Macao's 13 experts to attend as observers.

                            Food and noose Health Secretary York Chow said the inspection exercises to develop on the designated clinics start contingency plans to cope with a major infectious disease outbreak is very important.

                            He pointed out that the level of primary health care services when a large number of needs assessment and triage of patients, the start designated clinics reduce the workload of hospitals.

                            Dr Chow said: "To ensure that the designated clinics can effectively start and operate, it must first draw up a detailed and procedures, including strict infection control measures, efficient triage system, as well as between different units of effective communication and cooperation."

                            Today's exercise simulated a Hong Kong had participated in the destruction of live poultry operations Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department staff, and a park in Hong Kong Island boy dead birds contact with influenza-type symptoms of disease, and admitted to hospitals for treatment; The two were later confirmed to have contracted H5N1 avian influenza.

                            Hospital Authority has decided to start on Hong Kong Island, four designated clinics and hospitals to share the workload and triage influenza disease patients.


                            Two categories of serious symptoms of influenza disease patients, was sent to Pamela Youde Nethersole Hospital for medical treatment, minor symptoms of patients at the designated clinics for treatment.

                            To tie in with the start designated clinics, in the same building with elderly health centers, chest clinics and the Hong Kong AIDS Foundation to take corresponding arrangements.

                            http://www.news.gov.hk/tc/category/h...109tc05005.htm
                            Last edited by AlaskaDenise; April 11th, 2009, 04:46 PM. Reason: remove photo

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Hong Kong (PRC SAR): Epidemiological Surveillance Updates from Centre of Heath Protection and other govt agencies (January 2009+)

                              22 ill in respiratory tract infection outbreak


                              The Centre for Health Protection is investigating an outbreak of upper respiratory tract infection in a Central & Western District hostel affecting nine men and 13 women.

                              The 18 residents and four staff, aged 21 to 60, came down with fever, cough, runny nose and sore throat December 24 to January 11. All are stable. Twenty consulted doctors.

                              The centre has visited the institution and provided health advice to its staff.

                              People and management of institutions should take preventive measures against respiratory tract infection by observing strict environmental and personal hygiene.

                              http://www.news.gov.hk/en/category/h...112en05001.htm
                              “Addressing chronic disease is an issue of human rights – that must be our call to arms"
                              Richard Horton, Editor-in-Chief The Lancet

                              ~~~~ Twitter:@GertvanderHoek ~~~ GertvanderHoek@gmail.com ~~~

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