The Hong Kong Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health announced today that they are investigating an imported human case of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Hong Kong.

Influenza A (H7N9) virus/CDC
Influenza A (H7N9) virus/CDC

The male patient, aged 76 with underlying illnesses, developed fever and cough with sputum on March 3 and sought medical attention at a private clinic the next day. He attended the Accident and Emergency Department of Yan Chai Hospital on March 5 and was admitted on the same day for management.

The patient has been transferred to Princess Margaret Hospital for isolation and further management. His clinical diagnosis is pneumonia and he is now in a critical condition.

The investigation reveals the patient travelled alone to Fuzhou, Fujian between February 11 and March 1 during which he visited a wet market there. The patient’s close contact has remained asymptomatic so far and has been put under medical surveillance. Tracing of his other contacts in Hong Kong is underway.

This is the fifth imported human case of H7N9 recorded this winter.

In China, the Health and Family Planning Commission of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region reported Monday of two human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) in patients from Baise City and Wuzhou City, which are currently in critical condition.

Today, the Health and Family Planning Commission (HFPC) of Guizhou Province reported a case in a patient aged 40 in Taijiang, who had live poultry contact before onset, is under management. In addition, the Chongqing Municipal HFPC reported that a male patient aged 66 in Fengjie is under management.

The number of human cases reported in the Mainland has increased substantially with more than 480 cases recorded since last October. The number of cases in this wave so far has been much higher than that in the same period last winter season.