BEIJING, Dec. 5 (Xinhuanet) -- Hong Kong SAR government is on high alert after an Indonesian domestic helper was confirmed to have contracted the H7N9 bird flu -- the first case in Hong Kong. With the 36-year-old patient still in critical condition in intensive care, another 17 people have been isolated and around 200 are under observation.
Follow-up actions are in full swing in Hong Kong, following the city’s first H7N9 case. 17 people who had close contact with the patient have been isolated, and more than 200 are under observation.
Among them, 10 home contacts of the patient initially tested negative for the virus.
"The confirmed case has been notified to the World Health Organization. No evidence show it will spread the risk of locals contracting H7N9 has not increased or changed.” Dr. Leung Ting-Hung, controller of Center for Health Protection, said.
However, medical experts say as the patient’s infection was only confirmed after a third H7N9 test, this suggested a preliminary round might not be accurate enough. The government promised more tests would be taken.
Meanwhile, health measures in public are stepped up…All border control points have implemented disease prevention and control measures.
The government has visited 15 local chicken farms and taken specimens for testing. So far no irregularities have been detected.
The patient’s residence was also disinfected. And the contact tracing would not stop -- a guarantee from the government.
“We would certainly continue the work on contact tracing until all persons, whom we have reasons to suspect that they had contacts with the first confirmed patient of avian influenza A (H7N9) in Hong Kong, have been traced. In this regard, the incubation period of the disease is up to 10 days. In this particular incident, (the incubation period) would be sort of a reference indicator. ”Dr. Ko Wing-Man, HKSAR Food And Health Secretary, said.
Reporter: “The government may be on high alert, but on the streets, not much appears to have changed. Few people wear masks out, business in the markets goes on as usual, and chicken is still the popular meat choice. It seems to be positive thinking for many sellers and customers.”
Still, the government recommends people not to visit wet markets selling live poultry in the affected areas, and to avoid direct contact with poultry, birds and their droppings. They say being cautious will lessen the chances of infection.