HONG KONG -- Health authorities of the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and Macao Tuesday conducted a joint exercise to test their co-operation and co-ordination in the event of a cross-boundary incident of avian flu involving human cases.
Code-named "Exercise Great Wall 2008", the exercise was jointly organized by the Ministry of Health, the Health Bureau of Zhejiang Province, the Health Bureau of Macao, and the Food and Health Bureau, the Department of Health and the Hospital Authority of Hong Kong.
Over 60 public health officials and medical personnel took part in the exercise.
The scenario of the exercise unfolded when a 48-year-old man and his 13-year-old daughter living in Hong Kong were confirmed to have been infected with avian influenza virus after visiting the man's wife in the Chinese mainland.
The man's wife was also confirmed to have been infected by the disease later on.
In the exercise, the Hong Kong government activated the " Serious Response Level" and notified their counterparts on the Chinese mainland and in Macao of the cases.
In order to control and prevent the spread of the disease, health authorities of the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and Macao immediately initiated a series of public health measures including investigation and control of the outbreak, management of patients and exchange of information.
During the exercise, emergency responses, including notification of different counterparts, epidemiological investigation of the affected patients, contact tracing and medical surveillance for probable cases, were tested through telecommunication facilities.
The exercise ended when experts exchanged information on their respective actions and the situation was brought under control with no new cases detected.
This is the third joint exercise organized under the Co- operation Agreement on Response Mechanism for Public Health Emergencies signed by the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and Macao in2005.