Health chief moves to ease fears on H7N9 spreading
Friday, August 16, 2013
Secretary for Food and Health Ko Wing-man sought to allay fears that the H7N9 bird flu could be spread by human feces.
The University of Hong Kong and Zhejiang University said stool samples from two-thirds of patients who died from the disease contained the virus.
But Ko said this had already been taken into account during risk assessments.
"All the current infection control measures in the public hospitals and health- care system of Hong Kong have already taken into consideration this particular aspect of possible transmission," he said.
Meanwhile, World Health Organization director-general Margaret Chan Fung Fu- chun said it is not surprising that a H7N9 bird flu case has been confirmed in Guangdong province.
"According to studies, the virus is spread to other places following chicken retailers and human flow. The H7N9 virus will become more active during fall and winter but the Would Health Organization will strengthen monitoring and reporting from affected areas promptly," Chan said in Beijing.
She said H7N9 is different from H5N1 bird flu, which will cause chicken death, but it can be seen as an early warning signal. H7N9 reportedly does not kill poultry.
Ko, meanwhile, said the government will withdraw the two-tin export restriction on infant milk formula when residents are confident in purchasing the formula.
He said the taskforce set up earlier is studying different areas including the milk powder supply, retailers' product restock mechanism, milk power order hotline and pre-order mechanism.