Centre for Health Protection Controller Dr Leung Ting-hung briefs the media on a suspected human case of H7N9 in Guangdong.
Suspected H7N9 case reported
August 09, 2013
Guangdong authorities have alerted Hong Kong to a suspected human case of avian influenza A (H7N9) involving a 51-year-old woman in Huizhou.
Centre for Health Protection Controller Dr Leung Ting-hung today said the patient, who has a history of exposure to live poultry, tested positive for H7N9 in an initial examination, and confirmatory tests are pending.
Secretary for Food & Health Dr Ko Wing-man convened an inter-departmental meeting to discuss follow-up actions. In view of the large number of cases in several provinces in eastern China, the risk posed to Hong Kong must not be underestimated, Dr Leung said.
“It is possible that in the coming few months there may be an imported case in Hong Kong.”
He said officials from the Food & Health Bureau, Department of Health, Centre for Health Protection and the Hospital Authority will visit the Mainland next week to exchange information on control measures.
Mainland authorities will hold an international conference on H7N9 in Beijing next week, which will be attended by international experts.
Dr Leung said further information is needed for assessment of the need to ban the import of live poultry.
He said measures to prevent the importation and spread of the disease in Hong Kong in recent months will continue, such as enhanced surveillance in hospitals, temperature screenings, and public health education.
The Government has alerted healthcare workers to maintain a high degree of preparedness. Isolation and infection control measures will be implemented and rapid tests conducted if any suspected cases arise.
So far 133 human cases of H7N9 have been laboratory confirmed on the Mainland.