Contagious diseases

After Sars, Hong Kong leads the way in fighting infectious diseases

Professor Yuen Kwok-yung. Photo: David Wong

A decade after Sars, Hong Kong has developed a reputation as a world leader in research into emerging infectious diseases.

Sunday, 14 April, 2013, 6:58am

Hong Kong should reconsider ban on live poultry stalls

A vendor weighs a live chicken at the Kowloon City Market. Photo: Bloomberg

It was not long ago that banning the sale of live poultry in our markets and moving to a system of central slaughtering was seen as necessary to protect us from deadly infectious diseases. The government finally decided that reduced risk made the idea politically expendable and shelved it. Then-health minister York Chow Yat-ngok said at the time that the decision was not necessarily permanent, as the virus itself and the risk could change.

14 Apr 2013 - 2:15am 1 comment

Seven-year-old girl confirmed as Beijing's first bird flu case

Journalists take pictures and videos of a screen showing the seven-year-old girl officials at Ditan Hospital confirmed as suffering from the H7N9 bird flu strain. Photo: Reuters

A seven-year-old Beijing girl was confirmed as having H7N9 bird flu yesterday - the first time it has been found beyond Shanghai and neighbouring provinces.

14 Apr 2013 - 5:31am

Shanghai considers permanent ban on sale of live poultry

A notice alongside empty cages says the poultry stalls at a Shanghai market are closed. Photo: AFP

Authorities said yesterday the virus had claimed its eighth and ninth victims - an 83-year-old man from Suzhou , Jiangsu , who died a week after testing positive for the virus, and a 35-year-old woman from Chuzhou, Anhui.

10 Apr 2013 - 5:45am 2 comments

Three new cases bring China's H7N9 tally to 21, with 6 dead

A teacher at an elementary school in Jinan, capital of Shandong province, instructs a pupil yesterday on the proper way to wear a mask. The elementary school was offering a class on how to prevent bird flu as health authorities on the mainland took more steps to cope with an increasing number of H7N9 bird flu cases. Photo: Xinhua

The cases in Shanghai were a 59-year-old man from Anhui, who was in serious condition, and a 67-year-old Shanghai native, who was in stable condition. The Anhui case was a 55-year-old man from Haozhou who slaughtered and sold poultry. They bring the national tally of cases to 21, six of them fatal.

8 Apr 2013 - 12:09pm

Hong Kong on standby for H7N9 outbreak as China confirms three new cases

China has reported 21 human cases of the H7N9 flu virus, including six deaths. Photo: EPA

The latest three cases in Shanghai and Anhui brought the total number of confirmed H7N9 cases across the nation to 21 - ten in Shanghai, six in Jiangsu, three in Zhejiang and two in Anhui. Four patients in Shanghai and two in Zhejiang have died.

7 Apr 2013 - 11:37pm 4 comments

Prevention key to containing new avian flu outbreak

Guangxi health workers inoculate chickens to halt bird flu. Photo: AFP

The unexpected outbreak of influenza A(H7N9) on the mainland marks the first time the virus has been detected in humans. As of Friday, there were 16 confirmed cases, of which six have been fatal.

7 Apr 2013 - 1:43am

Lack of preparedness leaves us exposed to the risk of a nightmare like Sars

Technical staff from the animal disease prevention and control center inject chickens with the H5N1 bird flu vaccine. Photo: Reuters

While news that a coronavirus genetically related to Sars has been found in the Middle East is worrying Hong Kong, the H7N9 bird flu appears to be spreading across eastern China.

5 Apr 2013 - 3:02am 1 comment

Another bird flu death as virus spreads to Zhejiang

A nurse uses a body temperature detector in a hospital in Shanghai. Photo: EPA

The national health commission said the source of infection remained unknown, but listed poultry workers or people who had been in contact with poultry a week before the emergence of symptoms as a high-risk group.

4 Apr 2013 - 10:26am 2 comments

Bird flu a reminder of things we dare not forget

The clinic building which received a patient contracting H7N9 bird flu virus in Nanjing, Jiangsu. Photo: Xinhua

Ten years after Sars, the city faces two timely reminders of the need for vigilance and preparedness against the threat of another outbreak of deadly disease. In the latest, the first reported cases of human infection by a lesser-known strain of bird flu, H7N9, have resulted in the deaths of two men in Shanghai, while five people are in a critical condition in Anhui and Jiangsu provinces.

4 Apr 2013 - 10:29am

Four new cases of H7N9 bird flu confirmed in Jiangsu

A journalist takes photos in front of the Jiangsu Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Nanjing. Photo:Xinhua

Public hospitals in Hong Kong stepped up measures to spot suspected cases and sampling at poultry farms has increased. The Department of Health advised travellers returning from Jiangsu, Shanghai and Anhui with respiratory symptoms to wear masks and seek medical attention.

4 Apr 2013 - 10:29am 1 comment

Hong Kong steps up checks as new bird flu cases reported

The Hospital Authority's Dr Dominic Tsang Ngai-chong (left) and CHP contoller Leung Ting-hung brief the media on H7N9 avian flu measures on Tuesday. Photo: May Tse

Hong Kong health authorities on Tuesday stepped up checks on travellers and hospital patients after it was reported that the new H7N9 bird flu virus had infected four people in eastern China.

4 Apr 2013 - 10:30am

Shanghai hospitals on alert after new bird flu deaths

Shanghai is stepping up monitoring after a new strain of bird flu killed two people. Photo: Reuters

Shanghai's health bureau has ordered hospitals to step up monitoring and supervision of respiratory diseases after a new strain of bird flu killed two people in the city last month, the Shanghai Daily reported yesterday.

3 Apr 2013 - 2:02am

Hong Kong on alert for deadly bird flu strain, says health minister

Secretary for Food and Health Dr Ko Wing-man. Photo: May Tse

Hong Kong’s health minister said on Monday that the city was on high alert for anyone infected with H7N9 avian flu virus after the mainland announced on Sunday three people had contracted the virus.

1 Apr 2013 - 6:39pm

Two men die in Shanghai in first human cases of bird flu strain

A vendor waits for customers near chicken cages at a market in Fuyang city, Anhui province, on March 31, 2013. Photo: AP

The National Health and Family Planning Commission said it wasn't clear how the three became infected, but there was no evidence of human-to-human transmission.

1 Apr 2013 - 12:21pm 1 comment