Via the Centre for Health Protection, another long, detailed report: Epidemiological investigation and follow-up actions by CHP on confirmed human case of avian influenza A(H7N9). Excerpt:
The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) today (December 4) provided an update on the first confirmed human case of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Hong Kong.
"The CHP's epidemiological investigation, enhanced disease surveillance, port health measures and health education have been in full swing since the Government escalated the response level under the Preparedness Plan for Influenza Pandemic from 'Alert' to 'Serious'," a spokesman for the DH remarked.
As of 2pm today, no additional close contacts have been identified. The number of close contacts located remains at 17 while there are over 220 other contacts. Details are as follows:
(A) Specimens of the 17 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. They were prescribed with the antiviral Tamiflu prophylaxis and have to be quarantined for 10 days since their last contact with the patient. During isolation, if their health conditions change, further testing and surveillance will be conducted. They include:
1. Ten home contacts (including four with non-specific symptoms);
2. A female collateral aged 33, who visited Shenzhen with the patient; and
3. Six patients in Tuen Mun Hospital who stayed in the same cubicle with the confirmed patient (including one with non-specific symptoms).
Asymptomatic close contacts will be arranged to stay in the quarantine centre in Lady MacLehose Holiday Village in Sai Kung. It has been equipped with basic residential facilities, including suitable bungalows, rooms and activity premises.
(B) Over 220 other contacts, including two private doctors whom the patient consulted, their clinic staff, patients and accompanying relatives, health-care workers of Tuen Mun Hospital, Queen Mary Hospital and the ambulance service, and relevant hospital visitors, have remained well so far. Medical surveillance is ongoing and they have been offered Tamiflu prophylaxis.
The epidemiological investigation by the CHP, including contact tracing and tracing the source of infection, is ongoing.
"Upon the PHLSB's analysis, the genes of the virus of the confirmed case do not show any significant difference from the avian influenza A(H7N9) viruses isolated from human cases detected so far in the Mainland. There is also no evidence of genetic reassortment nor resistance to Tamiflu. We will continue to liaise and share the gene sequence based on established arrangements," the spokesman stressed.
Locally, enhanced surveillance over suspected cases in public and private hospitals is under way. The CHP will continue to maintain liaison with the World Health Organization (WHO), the Mainland and overseas health authorities to monitor the latest developments and obtain timely and accurate information. Local surveillance activities will be modified according to the WHO's recommendations.