Monday, December 9, 2013

Avian Flu Update: Hong Kong Quarantines 19 in Outbreak after Second Case reported | Reuters/Bloomberg/gov.hk

H7N9 Avian Influenza Alert:

Hong Kong may be the newest #HotZone in the ongoing #H7N9 Avian Flu Pandemic.

The Hong Kong Centre for Health Protection has Quarantined 19 after Second Reported case of H7N9 Avian Flu after contact with 80 year old man.

H7N9, an influenza virus that normally infects birds such as chickens and wild geese, first jumped to human hosts in China early this year.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 20% of those infected have died, but the virus does not spread easily from person to person — at least not yet. So far, the World Health Organization says 137 people have been sickened by H7N9 and 45 have died. Here’s what you need to know about the latest bird flu and whether it poses a threat in the U.S.

Stay Informed.
Alerts/News/Preparedness Info on USAEBN - www.usaebn.org


A computer monitor shows whether incoming passengers have high abnormal body temperatures at the Hong Kong International Airport on December 3, 2013. Photographer: Lam Yik Fei/Getty Images

Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Email this article news.gov.hk

Second confirmed human case of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Hong Kong under CHP investigation

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The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) is today (Dec 6) investigating another confirmed human case of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Hong Kong affecting a man aged 80.

     The patient, with underlying medical condition, lives in Shenzhen. He was admitted to a hospital in Shenzhen for management of his chronic illness from November 13 to 29.

     On December 3, he arrived in Hong Kong with his three family members via Shenzhen Bay Port Border Control Point (SBP BCP) and subsequently took a taxi there in the afternoon to the Accident and Emergency Department (AED) of Tuen Mun Hospital (TMH) where he was admitted for further management of his chronic illness on the same day.
"The Serious Response Level under the Government's Preparedness Plan for Influenza Pandemic has been activated while the CHP's epidemiological investigation and follow-up actions are currently in full swing," a CHP spokesman remarked.
Courtesy:  http://www.info.gov.hk/


Hong Kong health officials have quarantined 19 people who had contact with an 80-year-old man confirmed to have the city’s second case of H7N9 influenza, which has killed 45 people in China this year.
The patient is a long-term resident of mainland China who was hospitalized in the border city of Shenzhen from Nov. 13 to Nov. 29 for treatment of an underlying chronic illness, the Hong Kong government said in a statement on Dec. 6. He moved to Hong Kong on Dec. 3 and was admitted to Tuen Mun Hospital, where he tested positive for the new strain of bird flu after developing a fever, the statement shows.



Hong Kong H7N9 Influenza
A medical officer walks past a sign showing an infection control notice alert level at the Princess Margaret Hospital on December 4, 2013 in Hong Kong. Photographer: Lam Yik Fei/Getty Images

The government said it will transfer the patient, who is in stable condition, to the isolation ward at Princess Margaret Hospital. It’s not yet known if he had contact with live poultry though he is thought to have eaten chicken, Hong Kong’s Commercial Radio reported yesterday, citing Ko Wing-man, the city’s health secretary.
A total of 19 people had contact with the man after he arrived in Hong Kong, including 13 patients in Tuen Mun Hospital, five relatives and one taxi driver, the report cited Ko as saying.
Seven of the 19 were moved from Princess Margaret’s isolation ward to a quarantine center at the Lady MacLehose Holiday Village in Sai Kung, the South China Morning Post reported without saying where it got the information.

Lethal to Humans

At least one person who had contact with the man had mild symptoms of an upper respiratory tract infection, the paper reported, citing Ko.
After confirming its first case of H7N9 bird flu this month, Hong Kong beefed up surveillance of travelers with fever, activating part of a pandemic preparedness plan. The novel avian influenza strain is often lethal to humans, though it doesn’t transmit easily from person to person.
Hong Kong’s Centre for Health Protection has notified China’s central government, officials in Macau and Guangdong province and the Geneva-based World Health Organization of the second infection, according to the statement.
In China, the government on Dec. 5 confirmed a new H7N9 infection, in a 30-year-old man in the eastern province of Zhejiang, according to the Hong Kong government statement. The man is being treated in a hospital in Hangzhou.
The Centre for Health Protection said Hong Kong travelers should avoid live poultry markets and direct contact with fowl in areas affected by the virus and should tell their doctors about their travel history if they become ill on returning home.
Human cases of H7N9 in China date to February and surged in April, before agriculture authorities temporarily closed live poultry markets and quarantined farms to limit human exposure. The WHO counted 139 laboratory-confirmed cases as of Nov. 6.


Hong Kong confirms second case of H7N9 bird flu in a week

HONG KONG Fri Dec 6, 2013 10:23am EST
 
(Reuters) - Hong Kong has confirmed its second case of the deadly H7N9 bird flu, days after the first, as the virus spreads beyond mainland China, authorities said on Friday night.
The victim, an 80-year-old man from the neighboring Chinese city of Shenzhen, is in a stable condition in a hospital in Tuen Mun on the outskirts of Hong Kong and will be transferred to an isolation facility.
"There is no evidence that this virus can cause sustained human-to-human transmission, so the risk of widespread or community-wide outbreak at this stage is low," said Dr Leung Ting-hung, controller of the Centre for Health Protection. But the city is maintaining its influenza pandemic response level at "serious".
On Monday, Hong Kong's officials said a 36-year-old Indonesian domestic helper with a history of contact with poultry and travel to Shenzhen had been confirmed to be infected with H7N9 and had been hospitalized in a critical condition.
"I don't think at this stage we can find any evidence of any links between the two cases. We have no evidence that they had come into contact with each other," Leung added.
The H7N9 strain killed around 45 of some 135 people it infected in mainland China earlier this year, before appearing to peter out during the summer.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, which killed nearly 300 people in Hong Kong and had a significant impact on the city's economy.
(Reporting by Twinnie Siu and Lee Chyen Yee; editing by Andrew Roche)

Source Report:
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-12-08/hong-kong-quarantines-19people-after-second-case-of-h7n9.html
http://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/201312/06/P201312060694.htm
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/06/us-birdflu-idUSBRE9B50M220131206

Here’s What You Need to Know About the Bird-Flu Case in Hong Kong - Time.com



33 H7N9 Bird Flu Cases Confirmed In China
ChinaFotoPress / Getty Images
Chickens for sale at a poultry market in China in April, 2013

Health officials say the situation is “serious” after a domestic worker was hospitalized in November.
H7N9, an influenza virus that normally infects birds such as chickens and wild geese, first jumped to human hosts in China early this year. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 20% of those infected have died, but the virus does not spread easily from person to person — at least not yet. So far, the World Health Organization says 137 people have been sickened by H7N9 and 45 have died. Here’s what you need to know about the latest bird flu and whether it poses a threat in the U.S.
(MORE: Hong Kong on Alert After Woman Catches Bird Flu)

How did the latest patient get infected?
The 36-year-old woman had visited Shenzhen, China, where she slaughtered and ate a chicken, according to Hong Kong health officials. She felt ill, with fever, chills and breathing difficulty and was hospitalized after returning to Hong Kong.

Has anyone in the U.S. been infected with H7N9?
So far, no cases of the infection have been reported in the U.S., and the CDC says the risk of H7N9 infection is “low.” All of the human cases so far have been reported in Asia. But it is possible that travelers to Asian countries where the virus has been found in chickens and other poultry could become infected and bring this bird flu to the U.S.

Will my flu shot protect me against H7N9?
No, there is no vaccine against H7N9 yet, although researchers are working on developing one. This year’s flu shot protects against H1N1, H3N2, and either one or both of the B-group influenza viruses currently circulating around the world.

Is H7N9 more dangerous than the previous bird flu, H5N1?
That’s hard to tell so far, since so few human cases have been reported. But flu experts are watching H7N9 closely since the virus seems to be making genetic changes that might help it infect people more easily.

What are Hong Kong officials doing to contain H7N9?
The Hong Kong government has halted imports of live poultry from three farms in Shenzhen and alerted WHO and Chinese health officials.

Read more: Bird-Flu Case in Hong Kong: What You Need to Know About H7N9 | TIME.com

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