• Mon
  • Dec 22, 2014
  • Updated: 3:42am

Public Health

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.

Sunday, 7 April, 2013, 1:43am

Beijing needs to give world full picture of bird flu outbreak

Doctors and nurses attend a training course for treatment of H7N9 virus at a hospital in Hangzhou. Photo: Reuters

One of the most important lessons of the 2002-03 Sars outbreak was that more openness from mainland officials would have helped combat the epidemic. There is evidence it has been remembered - though perhaps belatedly - in the release of information about the current deadly outbreak of H7N9 avian flu. 

7 Apr 2013 - 1:42am

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

Beijing will not 'exclude possibility' of H7N9 infections

Technicians carry out a test for the H7N9 bird flu virus using test reagents at the Beijing Centre for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC). Photo: Reuters

The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention said although recent cases of human bird flu infection have been concentrated in eastern China, the city of Beijing was not “absolutely safe” from the virus.

4 Apr 2013 - 3:53pm 2 comments

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

Girl, 4, isolated amid fears of deadly coronavirus

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

A four-year-old girl visiting from Qatar has been isolated after she tested negative for a deadly Sars-like virus yesterday. The girl had initially sparked fears that the novel coronavirus had reached Hong Kong after she showed signs of carrying the virus that has killed at least nine people around the world.

25 Mar 2013 - 6:55am

Medical waste must be stopped

Medical waste on a beach in Discovery Bay. Photo: Dickson Lee

Hong Kong is blessed with numerous sandy beaches that may rival those of island resorts. Sadly, some of our beaches are polluted with rubbish washed up from the sea or dumped by irresponsible visitors. Recently, a beach accessible to tens of thousands of residents in Discovery Bay was littered with hundreds of used syringes and other medical items. Not only is this a nuisance it also poses a serious threat to public health and safety on Lantau.

18 Mar 2013 - 1:41am 1 comment

Li Bin brings rich experience to health and family planning commission

Li Bin

Minister in charge of the newly established Health and Family Planning Commission Li Bin yesterday said she was well aware of the importance of her job, but shed little light on how she was going to address the two tricky issues of health-care reform and the controversial birth control policies.

17 Mar 2013 - 6:38am

Shanghai's dead-pig flotilla needs explaining

Nearly 3,000 dead pigs have been found floating in Shanghai's main waterway, the Chinese city's government said on March 11 as residents expressed fears over possible contamination of drinking water. Photo: AFP

Shanghai residents could be excused for feeling shocked and outraged after the city's waterway was found choked with dead pigs. Over the past week, thousands of rotting carcasses were seen drifting down the river that flows through the city. More disturbing is that little is known about how it happened. Nor do we know what is being done to contain the problem. Given the potential threat to public health in the region, the lack of transparency and protection is regrettable.

13 Mar 2013 - 3:00am