I keep marvelling at the difference between H7N9 news from Hong Kong and MERS news from Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf states. Via the Centre for Health Protection: Epidemiological investigation and follow-up actions by CHP on two confirmed human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9). Excerpt:
The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) today (December 10) provided an update on the two confirmed human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Hong Kong.
"The epidemiological investigations, enhanced disease surveillance, port health measures and health education are proceeding," a spokesman for the DH remarked.
Regarding the second confirmed case affecting a male patient aged 80, as of 4pm today, no additional close contacts have been identified. The number of close contacts remains at 19 while there are over 140 other contacts. Details are as follows:
(A) Nineteen close contacts remain under quarantine for 10 days since their last contact with the patient. Their specimens all tested negative for the avian influenza A(H7N9) virus. They were prescribed with the antiviral Tamiflu for prophylaxis. During isolation, if their health conditions change, further testing and surveillance will be conducted. They include:
1. Thirteen patients who had stayed in the same cubicle with the patient in Tuen Mun Hospital (TMH);
2. His five family members; and
3. A taxi driver who had taken the patient and his family from Shenzhen Bay Port Border Control Point (SBP BCP) to TMH on December 3.
(B) Over 140 other contacts, including other relatives of the patient, health-care workers (HCWs) of TMH and the ambulance service, relevant hospital visitors and an immigration control officer at SBP BCP, remain under medical surveillance and have been offered Tamiflu prophylaxis. Among them, four HCWs of TMH newly developed non-specific symptoms and their specimens tested negative for the avian influenza A(H7N9) virus by the Public Health Laboratory Services Branch of the CHP.
Regarding the first confirmed case affecting a female patient aged 36, as of 4pm, there are no additional close contacts. The number of close contacts remains at 17 while there are 230 other contacts under medical surveillance. All close contacts who completed quarantine will stay under medical surveillance for 10 more days.
Among the other contacts, one HCW of TMH who newly developed non-specific symptoms tested negative for the avian influenza A(H7N9) virus. In addition, the client of Dr Wong Chun-yan who presented with non-specific symptoms yesterday also tested negative for the avian influenza A(H7N9) virus.
Six asymptomatic close contacts of the second case are currently under quarantine in Lady MacLehose Holiday Village in Sai Kung.
The epidemiological investigations into the two cases by the CHP, including contact tracing, are ongoing.
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.
"We have enhanced our publicity and health education on the prevention of avian influenza. The CHP has also sent letters to government departments and related organisations to reinforce our health advice on the prevention of avian influenza," the spokesman added.
Perhaps I should look on the bright side: If the Saudis were issuing updates like this about all their MERS cases, I'd be overwhelmed.