Forty-nine people in Haifeng were infected with hepatitis A last month, Hong Kong's Department of Health was told by its Guangdong counterpart yesterday. The outbreak is believed to have been caused by unclean food. The patients involved were mainly young people. No new cases have been reported since October 27. A spokesman for the Hong Kong Department of Health said there had been no imported cases from the mainland last month. The number of local infections of hepatitis A last month had not shown any substantial increase compared with the same period last year. 'The prompt notification of this [Haifeng] event reflects the effectiveness of the improved disease notification mechanism between Guangdong and Hong Kong under the agreement reached in the recent tripartite meetings among Hong Kong, Guangdong and Macau,' the spokesman said. The Port Health Office has issued advice to people travelling to areas with hepatitis A to avoid eating or drinking uncooked food. As a measure to step up co-ordinated efforts to prevent another Sars outbreak, the Hong Kong, Guangdong and Macau authorities signed an agreement in September to set up a reporting system to cover any outbreaks of notifiable diseases. Under the system, Hong Kong and Guangdong officials will report to each other data on all notifiable diseases before the middle of each month. The lack of co-operation between the two authorities was widely criticised during the Sars outbreak. Before the new system was implemented, Hong Kong and Guangdong only reported to each other incidences of eight diseases. Both sides now have 28 notifiable diseases, including Sars and influenza.