Notification of a human case of H5N1 in Shenzhen

Hong Kong (HKSAR) – The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health received notification from the Ministry of Health (MoH) tonight (December 30) concerning a suspected human case of influenza A (H5N1) in Shenzhen.

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A CHP spokesman said the patient was a 39-year-old man living in Shenzhen. He developed symptoms on December 21 and was admitted to a hospital on December 25 because of severe pneumonia. He is now in critical condition.

The man had no travel history or contact with poultry before the onset of symptoms.

Preliminary laboratory tests on the patient’s specimen by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention of Guangdong Province yielded positive result for H5N1.

The CHP is maintaining close liaison with the Guangdong Department of Health to obtain more information on the case. We will heighten our vigilance and continue to maintain stringent port health measures in connection with this development, the spokesman said.

The spokesman reminded members of the public to remain vigilant against avian influenza infection and to observe the following measures:

* Avoid direct contact with poultry and birds or their droppings; if contacts have been made, they should wash hands thoroughly with soap and water;

* Poultry and eggs should be thoroughly cooked before eating;

* Wash hands frequently;

* Cover nose and mouth while sneezing or coughing, hold the spit with tissue and put it into covered dustbins;

* Avoid crowded places and contact with sick people with fever;

* Wear a mask when you have respiratory symptoms or need to take care of patients with fever;

* When you have fever and influenza-like illnesses during a trip or when coming back to Hong Kong, you should consult doctors promptly and reveal your travel history.

For further information on avian influenza, please visit the CHP website: www.chp.gov.hk.

Source: HKSAR Government

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