China: CHP closely monitors human case co-infected with avian influenza A(H10N5) and influenza A(H3N2) on Mainland

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health of Hong Kong S.A.R is (January 31) closely monitoring a human case co-infected with avian influenza A(H10N5) and influenza A(H3N2) reported in Zhejiang Province of the Mainland, and again urged the public to maintain strict personal, food and environmental hygiene both locally and during travel.

The case involves a 63-year-old female with underlying medical problems, who developed symptoms on November 30 last year and was admitted for treatment on December 2. She passed away on December 16. Her relevant close contacts did not show any abnormalities during the medical surveillance period.

According to information from the National Disease Control and Prevention Administration, the genetic analysis revealed that the genes of the H10N5 virus were of avian origin while the risk of H10N5 virus infection in humans is low, and human-to-human transmission has not been observed.

"All novel influenza A infections, including H10N5, are notifiable infectious diseases in Hong Kong," a spokesman for the CHP said.

Travellers to the Mainland or other affected areas must avoid visiting wet markets, live poultry markets or farms. They should be alert to the presence of backyard poultry when visiting relatives and friends. They should also avoid purchasing live or freshly slaughtered poultry, and avoid touching poultry/birds or their droppings. They should strictly observe personal and hand hygiene when visiting any place with live poultry.

Travellers returning from affected areas should consult a doctor promptly if symptoms develop, and inform the doctor of their travel history for prompt diagnosis and treatment of potential diseases. It is essential to tell the doctor if they have seen any live poultry during travel, which may imply possible exposure to contaminated environments. This will enable the doctor to assess the possibility of avian influenza and arrange necessary investigations and appropriate treatment in a timely manner.

While local surveillance, prevention and control measures are in place, the CHP will remain vigilant and work closely with the World Health Organization and relevant health authorities to monitor the latest developments.