The Hong Kong Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) is today investigating the second imported human case of avian influenza A(H7N9) infection in Hong Kong this year affecting an 81-year-old woman.

This is the 15th imported case reported in Hong Kong since 2013.

Hong Kong/CIA
Hong Kong/CIA

The patient, with underlying illnesses, traveled to Kaiping, Guangdong on March 5. She has presented with malaise, headache, shortness of breath and fever since March 10 and was admitted to a hospital in Kaiping between March 14 and 16. Upon return to Hong Kong on March 17, she attended the Accident and Emergency Department of Caritas Medical Centre on the same day and was subsequently admitted for management of pneumonia.

The patient’s nasopharyngeal aspirate tested positive for avian influenza A(H7N9) virus upon laboratory testing by the Public Health Laboratory Services Branch of the CHP. The patient has been admitted to the Hospital Authority Infectious Disease Centre (HAIDC) in Princess Margaret Hospital for further management. She is now in stable condition.

Initial investigations by the CHP revealed that the patient visited a wet market near her residence in Kaiping during her stay in the Mainland and reported no direct poultry contact. Among 11 close contacts of the patient identified so far, two daughters have developed headache and malaise since March 16 and 17 respectively. They have been transferred to HAIDC for management. Other close contacts remain asymptomatic. Tracing of the patient’s contact in Hong Kong is ongoing.

The CHP’s investigation is continuing.