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Health chief urges strict hygiene

April 30, 2013
Centre for Health Protection Controller Dr Leung Ting-hung has called for strict personal and environmental hygiene, as the next six months will be critical in the development of the avian influenza A(H7N9) virus.
He made the appeal after today's Scientific Committee on Emerging & Zoonotic Diseases meeting, with its Chairman Prof Yuen Kwok-yung.
They said while the public should not be overly worried about the situation, the possibility of H7N9 being imported to Hong Kong from the Mainland cannot be ruled out, so people should maintain good personal hygiene by washing hands frequently especially before touching their eyes, nose and month, and to avoid contact with live poultry.
Dr Leung said the coming months will be critical in the virus' development, and it cannot be predicted whether and when it will be transmitted among humans, therefore good personal and environmental hygiene must be kept at the highest standard at all times.
He said measures are already in place against any possible H7N9 case spreading in Hong Kong, including stringent monitoring of suspected cases and strengthening exchange of information with international and Mainland health organisations and authorities.
A working group will formulate medical strategy and make suggestions to frontline doctors on how to treat such cases.
More manpower has been deployed to boundary checkpoints to monitor the body temperature of travellers.
Prof Yuen said so far the genetic and epidemiological data indicates low efficiency in human to human transmission of the virus. However, as H7N9 does not kill poultry, it has been difficult to monitor, adding public vigilance must be maintained.

Prevention of Avian Influenza