April 2, 2013
Hong Kong (HKSAR) - Following is the transcript of remarks made by the
Secretary for Food and Health, Dr Ko Wing-man, after officiating at a
public function this afternoon (April 2):
Reporter: (On the outbreak of human cases of Influenza A (H7N9) on the Mainland.)
for Food and Health: In themorning of March 31, we received
notification (from the National Health and Family Planning Commission)
of three cases of Influenza A (H7N9) affecting three persons in Shanghai
and Anhui in the Mainland. The two patients in Shanghai have passed
away and the other patient in Anhui is still receiving intensive medical
treatment in Nanjing. We are concerned about these reports because,
firstly, two of the three patients have already died and hence
superficially the death rate is quite high.
Secondly, there is
no epidemiological linkage among the three reported cases which means
that the three patients might have contracted the illness through
different sources. This will have an implication as to whether there is a
spreading of this new H7N9 virus among poultry in the Mainland.
Reporter: (On the enhanced surveillance and control measures in Hong Kong.)
for Food and Health: I convened an urgent meeting this morning with the
Centre for Health Protection (of the Department of Health), the
Hospital Authority, the Centre for Food Safety (of the Food and
Environmental Hygiene Department), and the Agriculture, Fisheries and
Conservation Department (to discuss the enhanced surveillance and
control measures in view of the confirmed human cases of Influenza A
(H7N9) on the Mainland.) Various measures will be stepped up. Regarding
the border control, we will ensure that the temperature measuring
arrangement at all entry points to Hong Kong will be strictly adhered
The infectious control measures in the hospitals will also be stepped up.
Reporter: What do we know of this new virus so far?
for Food and Health: The Mainland Authority has already uploaded the
full gene sequence of this particular H7N9 virus onto the website and
our experts in virology are able to have some insights into the
properties of the virus. Firstly, it has an element enabling it to be
adapted to the human environment and that is why there are human
infections. Secondly and luckily, there is no evidence to show that
there is drug-resistance (of this virus) to the two commonly used
anti-influenza medications, including Tamiflu.
(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)
Source: HKSAR Government