Public Health

China health under pressure from rapid change in diets

A woman eats at a fast food restaurant in Shanghai. Photo: AFP

It’s a timely coincidence. Diet is the leading risk factor for premature death on the mainland, accounting for one in three deaths in 2010, according to the study published in The Lancet.

Monday, 17 June, 2013, 1:00pm 2 comments

Live organ donors get priority for transplants

Professor Philip LI Kam-tao. Photo: Felix Wong

Live organ donors will now move up the queue if they need an organ transplant, under a new plan to encourage more people to donate organs and save lives.

3 Jun 2013 - 7:14am

Weekend surgery most risky, study of English hospitals finds

People who undergo non-emergency surgery in English public hospitals at the weekend have an 82 per cent higher chance of dying within a month than those treated on a Monday, alarming new research shows.

30 May 2013 - 3:06am

Guangzhou may reverse ban on people with sexually-transmitted diseases from teaching

Schoolchildren write their names on a banner promoting Aids prevention and education. Photo: Xinhua

Mandatory HIV tests are to be phased out from the draft list of health qualifications for Guangdong’s teachers by By September, state media reported Tuesday.

29 May 2013 - 1:11pm

Hong Kong mulls greater oversight of private health insurance

Food and Health Secretary Dr Ko Wing-man

The government may take on a "middle-man role" in private health insurance cases, helping to decide claims, process compensation and register complaints, the health minister said.

26 May 2013 - 8:18am

Poultry farms may be H7N9 source, study finds

Poultry farms might be the source of the H7N9 virus. Photo: Xinhua

The study, compiled after a week-long field assessment of the influenza by a panel of experts commissioned by the WHO, was publicised by the National Health and Family Planning Commission yesterday.

19 May 2013 - 6:12am

Poultry trade may be spreading killer H7N9 virus

Poultry trade may be spreading killer H7N9 virus

Poultry workers moving between wet markets and farms are probably responsible for the wide geographical spread of the deadly new bird flu virus on the mainland, says a Hong Kong expert invited by the World Health Organisation to investigate the outbreak.

6 May 2013 - 7:06am 5 comments

China reports another H7N9 death as WHO calls flu 'one of the most lethal'

A Chinese tourist wears a face mask at Tiananmen Square in Beijing. The H7N9 strain has killed 25 people in China. Photo: AFP

The death toll from the H7N9 bird flu virus has risen to 27, state media said yesterday after a man died in Hunan province.

Neighbouring Guangdong will start cleaning up its poultry markets today. Deputy governor Lin Shaochun said yesterday that the provincial government might make some contingency public health measures permanent in prevention of bird flu diseases, Xinhua reported.

29 Aug 2013 - 4:13am

Step up bird flu tests on chickens, Hong Kong health expert urges

An official with the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department holds a live chicken as another handles a blood sample for testing. Photo: Bloomberg

Blood tests for H5 bird flu are conducted on locally raised chickens and if the results are positive, a rapid test for H7 on the samples is conducted. Results for a rapid test are ready in four to five hours. But the blood samples are taken 10 days before the poultry go to the market, so there are concerns that any infection that develops in those 10 days may not be found.

1 May 2013 - 10:15am 1 comment

Reduce H7N9 human fatalities, Premier Li Keqiang tells health officials

Premier Li Keqiang talks to disease control experts. Ten more people have contracted H7N9 since Friday.

Premier Li Keqiang urged health officials to reduce the fatality rate of the H7N9 bird flu and release information to the public in a timely manner as the deadly strain spreads in southern China.

29 Apr 2013 - 10:22am 7 comments

Fears in Hong Kong and Guangdong as H7N9 virus hits Hunan

A woman from Shaoyang, Hunan, developed a fever on April 14, four days after having contact with poultry. Photo: AFP

A 64-year-old woman from Shaoyang in Hunan province was diagnosed with H7N9 bird flu yesterday, sparking fears that the virus might soon emerge in Guangdong and Hong Kong.

29 Aug 2013 - 4:13am

China poultry cull urged to halt spread of bird flu

A woman handles chickens at a market stall. Photo: Felix Wong

A leading researcher has called for live-bird markets in H7N9-hit areas of the mainland to be closed and poultry culled to block the deadly virus' spread, as a study confirmed wet markets to be the "smoking gun" in the spread of the disease.

26 Apr 2013 - 8:32am 1 comment

H7N9 human transmission possible but 'highly sporadic', says health expert

The H7N9 virus strain is mainly transmitted from birds to humans, but human-to-human transmission is, in theory, possible. Photo: EPA

Long-term and unprotected exposure to the infected person might result in another human infection, said Feng Zijian, director of the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) health emergency centre.

18 Apr 2013 - 2:29pm

In Hong Kong, political will is the key to clean air

Hong Kong skyline on the third day of what the government has described as 'dangerous' levels of air pollution. Photo: EPA

We could do without the air pollution we have suffered this week, but it does serve to remind the administration of the declaration by Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying that the quality of the air we breathe is a core livelihood issue. Roadside readings in Central on Monday were so bad that everyone was advised to steer clear of areas with heavy traffic - not just those with breathing or heart problems. The last two days have brought no relief.

7 May 2015 - 3:07pm 4 comments

Hong Kong did right by MMR vaccine

Hong Kong's MMR immunisation rate never drops below 95 per cent. Photo: Sam Tsang

Hong Kong's health authorities have insisted in the last decade that the combined measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine for young children is safe.

18 Apr 2013 - 3:18am