Via the Centre for Health Protection: Imported human case of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Hong Kong under CHP investigation. Excerpt:
The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) is today (March 4) investigating an imported human case of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Hong Kong affecting an 18-month-old girl.
The patient, with good past health, developed mild fever and consulted a private doctor on February 28. She attended the Accident and Emergency Department of Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) for febrile convulsion on March 1. She was admitted to isolation ward for treatment after her nasopharyngeal swab tested positive for influenza upon preliminary laboratory testing by QEH on March 2. Her fever subsided completely and she was discharged in stable condition on March 3.
Her specimen was sent to the CHP's Public Health Laboratory Services Branch for routine detection of respiratory viruses on March 3 and tested positive for avian influenza A(H7N9) virus today.
According to the patient's attending clinician, the patient was initially admitted to QEH for febrile convulsion. She had no signs of pneumonia. There was no known history of suspicious exposure at the time of admission.
Upon confirmation as avian influenza A(H7N9) today, the patient was admitted to Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) for isolation and testing. She is now asymptomatic with no fever.
Initial epidemiological investigations by the CHP revealed that the patient, who lives in To Kwa Wan, had travelled to Shunde, Foshan, Guangdong, from February 5 to 27 during which she was brought to a nearby wet market by her mother on February 24 but they did not buy any poultry. She had stayed in local residence with no known poultry nearby.
"Further investigations into her travel and exposure histories are ongoing in parallel with contact tracing. Close contacts including relevant household members and patients who had stayed in the same room with the patient in QEH will be admitted for testing and observation, while other contacts including relevant healthcare workers, visitors, immigration staff at Lo Wu, the doctor and patients of the private clinic which the patient consulted on February 28, will all be put under medical surveillance," a spokesman for the CHP explained.
The CHP will liaise with relevant Mainland health authority to follow up the patient's contacts during her stay in the Mainland. "The Serious Response Level under the Government's Preparedness Plan for Influenza Pandemic remains activated and the CHP's follow-up actions are in full swing," the spokesman said.
This is the sixth confirmed human case of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Hong Kong. The CHP will notify the World Health Organization (WHO), the National Health and Family Planning Commission as well as health and quarantine authorities of Guangdong and Macao.