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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
09HONGKONG1317
2009-07-17 09:48:00
UNCLASSIFIED
Consulate Hong Kong
Cable title:  

HONG KONG H1N1 UPDATE - FIRST POSSIBLE

Tags:   AMED  AEMR  AMGT  ASEC  CASC  KFLO  KFLU  KPAO  KSAF 
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VZCZCXRO9940
PP RUEHAST RUEHDH RUEHHM RUEHLN RUEHMA RUEHPB RUEHPOD RUEHSL RUEHTM
RUEHTRO
DE RUEHHK #1317 1980948
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 170948Z JUL 09
FM AMCONSUL HONG KONG
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8113
INFO RUEHZN/ENVIRONMENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHPH/CDC ATLANTA GA PRIORITY
RUEAUSA/DEPT OF HHS WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
						UNCLAS HONG KONG 001317 

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR OES/IHB AMBASSADOR LOFTIS, DEPT FOR EAP/CM, DEPT
FOR CA/OCS/EAP, DEPT FOR M/PRI, DEPT FOR SES-O, HHS FOR
OGHA, CDC ATLANTA FOR CCID AND COGH

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: AMED AEMR AMGT ASEC CASC KFLO KFLU KPAO KSAF
MC, PINR, PREL, TBIO, HK, CH
SUBJECT: HONG KONG H1N1 UPDATE - FIRST POSSIBLE
H1N1-RELATED DEATH

REF: A. A) HONG KONG 1109

B. B) HONG KONG 1164



1. Summary: Hong Kong and Macau both continue to see
increases in confirmed H1N1 cases. In Hong Kong, the total
number of confirmed H1N1 cases surpassed 1,500 on July 16,
while Macau is approaching 100 total cases. The number of
H1N1 patients admitted to hospitals in Hong Kong continues to
slowly rise. Reports surfaced July 16 of the first possible
H1N1-related death in Hong Kong. Tests are underway to
determine if H1N1 was a primary or contributing factor in the
July 10 death of a 42-year-old sailor who died in hospital.
The Hong Kong Government (HKG) has no plans to modify their
procedures to combat H1N1 at this time. End Summary.

Reported Infections Continue Climbing


--------------------------





2. Hong Kong exceeded 1,500 confirmed H1N1 infections July
16 when the HKG announced 85 new cases, for a total of 1,552.
There have been, on average, 50 new cases identified per day
during the last three weeks. Despite the increasing
infection rate, HKG health officials consider the response
measures currently in place (Ref A) adequate as they continue
to focus on mitigation of the effects of the virus and
provide care for individuals with serious complications.



3. Macau health officials report 94 confirmed cases since
the first positive case was identified June 18 (Ref B). Less
than one week later Macau identified the first community
transmission case, and currently one-third of the cases in
Macau have been contracted through community transmission.
Macau continues to combat the spread of the virus through
isolation of H1N1-positive individuals and home quarantine
for close contacts.

HK Hospitalizations Increase, Officials ID First Possible
Death


--------------------------



--------------------------





4. The number of patients admitted to hospital for treatment
in Hong Kong continues to slowly climb. On July 16, the HKG
reported 23 H1N1 patients in public hospitals for treatment.
Of these, three patients are categorized "serious" and two
patients "critical." The most vulnerable individuals in Hong
Kong appear to be the same as reported in other locations )
individuals with pre-existing medical conditions, especially
respiratory problems. At least one of the seriously ill
patients, however, does not fit this profile ) a 23-year-old
college student with no pre-existing medical conditions.



5. On July 16, Centre for Health Protection (CHP) Controller
Dr. Thomas Tsang announced that Hong Kong may have had its
first H1N1-related fatality. A 42-year-old Filipino sailor
who died at Ruttonjee Hospital July 10 of
community-associated methicillin resistant Staphylococcus
aureus (CA-MRSA) later tested positive for H1N1. The man
reportedly fell ill while aboard ship and was unable to
receive treatment for several days until his vessel returned
to Hong Kong. Tsang stated that H1N1 could have been a
factor in the man's death, and added that he likely
contracted the virus outside of Hong Kong. CHP officials
confirm that an autopsy has been ordered, and that it will
take several days to determine whether H1N1 was the primary
cause or a contributing factor in the man's death.



6. The HKG does not intend to modify the procedures in place
to combat H1N1, despite the increase in hospitalizations and
the possible H1N1-related death. Hong Kong's serious illness
rate is consistent with the rates reported worldwide and the
death rate ) 0.06% if the reported H1N1-related death is
confirmed ) is lower than the world average. One issue that
would provoke a review and possible change in response
measures is a mutation of the virus, making it much more
lethal or drug resistant. CHP officials continue to closely
monitor developments here and around the world for signs of
such a change.
DONOVAN