Via the Centre for Health Protection: Epidemiological investigation and follow-up actions by CHP on second confirmed human case of avian influenza A(H7N9). Excerpt:
A spokesman for the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) today (December 7) provided an update on the second confirmed human case of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Hong Kong affecting a man aged 80.
"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," the spokesman remarked.
"The patient had been transferred to Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) under isolation. His current condition remains stable," he said.
As of 4pm today, contact tracing conducted by the CHP has located 19 close contacts and over 130 other contacts. Details are as follows: (A) Nineteen close contacts of the patient have been quarantined and prescribed with Tamiflu prophylaxis, including:
1. Thirteen patients (including two with non-specific symptoms) who had stayed in the same cubicle with the confirmed patient in Tuen Mun Hospital (TMH);
2. His five family members, who have remained asymptomatic, have been quarantined in PMH; and
3. The taxi driver who had taken the patient and his family members from Shenzhen Bay Port Border Control Point (SBP BCP) to TMH on December 3 was located. He has remained asymptomatic and has been quarantined in PMH.
The specimens of the 18 close contacts all tested negative for the avian influenza A(H7N9) virus upon preliminary laboratory testing by the Public Health Laboratory Services Branch (PHLSB) of the CHP while the result of the remaining sample belonging to an asymptomatic close contact is pending. They will be put under quarantine for 10 days since their last contact with the patient. During isolation, if their health conditions change, further testing and surveillance will be conducted.
(B) Over 130 other contacts, including other relatives of the patient, healthcare workers (HCWs) of TMH and the ambulance service, relevant hospital visitors as well as an immigration control officer at SBP BCP, are all under medical surveillance. Among them, four HCWs of TMH who presented with non-specific symptoms tested negative for the avian influenza A(H7N9) virus.
As regards the first confirmed case, the 36-year-old female patient is still under isolation at Queen Mary Hospital in a critical condition. As of 4pm today, no additional close contacts of this case have been identified. The number of close contacts located remains at 17 while there are now 230 other contacts under medical surveillance. The 17 close contacts remain under quarantine for 10 days since their last contact with the patient. During isolation, if their health conditions change, further testing and surveillance will be conducted.
The epidemiological investigation into the two cases by the CHP, including contact tracing and tracing the source of infection, is ongoing.