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Cablegate: H1n1 Cases Force Closure of Two Hong Kong

VZCZCXRO6046
PP RUEHCN RUEHGH RUEHVC
DE RUEHHK #1567 2311021
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 191021Z AUG 09
FM AMCONSUL HONG KONG
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8357
INFO RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHPH/CDC ATLANTA GA PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY IA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEAUSA/DEPT OF HHS WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

UNCLAS HONG KONG 001567

SIPDIS

STATE FOR CA/OCS/EP, OES/IHA, HHS FOR OGHA, CDC ATLANTA FOR
CCID AND COUGH

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: AMGT CASC KFLO KFLU HK CH
SUBJECT: H1N1 CASES FORCE CLOSURE OF TWO HONG KONG
CHILDCARE FACILITIES

REF: A. HONG KONG 935
B. HONG KONG 1065
C. HONG KONG 1371

1. Hong Kong authorities have ordered the closure of a
special school and a child-care center after 16 children and
two staff members developed flu-like symptoms and tested
positive for H1N1 influenza. The Heep Hong Society Wan Tsui
Center for disabled children was closed for seven days after
six students and two female staff members developed symptoms.
Three of the students have been confirmed to have H1N1, with
one hospitalized in stable condition. Ten pre-school aged
children at the MacLehose Centre Joyful Children World
daycare facility in Kowloon also developed flu-like symptoms,
with three students confirmed to have H1N1, two of whom have
been hospitalized.

2. Confirmed H1N1 infections in Hong Kong have been steadily
increasing since late July. The Hong Kong Hospital Authority
announced a record 247 new confirmed cases of H1N1 influenza
on August 18, including 13 hospital staff members. These new
cases bring the total number of confirmed local infections to
7,561, with 3,890 of those cases being confirmed in August.
The overwhelming majority of these cases are mild, do not
require hospitalization and patients recover in a matter of
days. Hong Kong currently has 64 patients hospitalized with
H1N1, with one in serious and six in critical condition.

3. Comment: International schools in Hong Kong re-opened for
the fall term this week and most Hong Kong public schools are
scheduled to re-open in the next two weeks. Current
government protocols call for school closures when the sick
leave rate reaches 10 percent, or one percent of students
are hospitalized with H1N1, or two or more students are in
intensive care, or the death of an otherwise healthy student.
With the increasingly rapid spread of H1N1 cases over the
past four weeks, schools are likely to face government
mandated closures if current pandemic mitigation protocols
remain in effect. End Comment.
MARUT

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