First Human H5N1 case in 7 years in Hong Kong

From Crienglish, November 18, 2010

The Serious Response Level was activated in public hospitals in Hong Kong to tie in with the city Preparedness Plan for Influenza Pandemic following the reporting of the first human bird flu case since February 2003, Hong Kong’s Hospital Authority said in a statement on Wednesday night.

Press Release from the Hong Kong Government, [hat-tip, CopitoSP] November 17, 2010

The serious response level under the Government’s Preparedness Plan for influenza pandemic was today (November 17) activated as the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) investigated a case of influenza a H5 infection affecting a 59-year-old woman.

The patient developed running nose since November 2 and fever and cough on November 5. She sought medical attention from the Accident and Emergency Department of Tuen Mun Hospital (TMH) on November 12. On November 14, she was admitted to TMH for persistent fever and productive cough with blood-stained sputum. She was diagnosed to have pneumonia and is now in serious condition.

A spokesman for the CHP said that the nasopharyngeal aspirate taken from the woman tested positive for Influenza A (H5). Further studies on the virus were in progress.

Investigation revealed that the patient travelled to the Mainland with her husband and daughter between October 23 and November 1, during which she did not have any contact with live poultry contact and had not visited farms.

Her 60-year-old husband had history of running nose and productive cough but has recovered.

“The CHP has stepped up surveillance by testing all severe pneumonia cases for H5,” the spokesman said. The serious response level under the Government’s Preparedness Plan for influenza pandemic has been activated. A telephone hotline 2125 1111 has been set up to answer public enquiries.

“The CHP is also closely liaising with the Mainland authorities and the Hospital Authority to monitor the situation.”

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