It's a very busy morning for H7N9 news (Mike Coston at Avian Flu Diary has several important posts on it). The Centre for Health Protection has issued a news release: Confirmed human case of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Hong Kong under CHP investigation.
The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) is today (January 29) investigating a confirmed human case of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Hong Kong affecting a man aged 75.
The patient, with multiple underlying illnesses, lived in Tin Shui Wai. He developed cough with sputum in Shenzhen on January 26 and attended the Accident and Emergency Department of Tuen Mun Hospital (TMH) last night (January 28) for fever and shortness of breath. He was subsequently transferred to the isolation ward. His condition deteriorated and he passed away this morning.
His nasopharyngeal aspirate was positive for avian influenza A(H7) virus upon preliminary laboratory testing by TMH and was confirmed as H7N9 upon further testing by the CHP's Public Health Laboratory Services Branch.
Initial epidemiological investigations by the CHP revealed that the patient had travelled alone to Baoan, Shenzhen, from January 20 to 26 and had stayed in his relative's residence close to a live poultry market.
The patient's five home contacts in Hong Kong (regarded as close contacts) have remained asymptomatic. They will be admitted to Princess Margaret Hospital for testing and observation.
Further investigations into his travel and exposure history are ongoing, in parallel with tracing of other contacts of the patient, including four patients who stayed in the same cubicle with the patient in TMH, healthcare workers of TMH and the ambulance service, who will be put under medical surveillance.
The CHP will liaise with relevant Mainland health authority to follow-up the patient's contacts during his stay in Shenzhen.