[hat-tip Flu Trackers]
In response to media enquiries on a rumour concerning human infection
with novel coronavirus in Hong Kong, a spokesperson for the Centre for
Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (February 20)
clarified that no human infection with this virus has been identified so
far in Hong Kong.
"According to the World Health
Organization (WHO), of the total 12 confirmed cases of Novel Coronavirus
globally, three recently confirmed cases have been diagnosed in the
UK," the spokesperson said.
According to the latest
information from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control
(ECDC) and the Health Protection Agency (HPA) of the UK, a male UK
resident (Case 10) with confirmed novel coronavirus infection who had
travelled to Pakistan and the Middle East, developed respiratory
symptoms on January 24 and then had arrived unwell in the UK on January
28. While staying with his family at home, his condition deteriorated
and he was admitted to hospital under intensive care.
February 6, a male household member (Case 11) who had contact with Case
10 from his arrival until hospital admission felt unwell. This patient
had an existing medical condition that might have made him more
susceptible to a severe respiratory infection. His respiratory condition
deteriorated and he was admitted to hospital where he was under
intensive care but subsequently died.
The latest confirmed
case (Case 12) is a younger female family member, who only had exposure
to Case 10 while he was in hospital. She became ill on February 5 with a
typical influenza-like illness which did not require hospital
admission. She has now fully recovered.
Cases 11 and 12 were
likely infected through human-to-human transmission, although the exact
route of transmission is still under investigation by the UK authority.
The presence of an intermediary case or fomite spread are possible.
to the ECDC, close follow-up of approximately 200 health-care workers,
family members and other contacts of cases in Europe and the Middle East
has not yet found other demonstrated instances of human-to-human
transmission. So far, no sustained transmissions or expanding clusters
of infections have been identified in any country," the spokesperson
"Members of the public are advised to maintain
good personal and environmental hygiene and avoid direct contact with
animals, birds or poultry," said the spokesperson, adding that the virus
may remain viable in the environment for some time and can be
inactivated by 1:99 household bleach.
He also advised
travellers returning from novel coronavirus-affected countries with
respiratory symptoms to wear facial masks and seek medical attention and
reveal their travel histories to doctors.
"The CHP will
stay vigilant and continue to work closely with the WHO and other
overseas health authorities to monitor the latest developments of this
novel infectious disease," he said.
"Locally, the CHP will
continue its surveillance mechanism with public and private hospitals,
practising doctors and the airport for any suspected cases of Novel
Coronavirus associated with Severe Respiratory Disease," he added.
Ends/Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Issued at HKT 19:26