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HK requires statutory report of A/H1N1 flu lab leakage
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A spokesman for Department of Health of Hong Kong Friday said the government had amended the Prevention and Control of Disease Ordinance (Cap. 599) to include influenza A/H1N1 virus to the list of infectious agents specified in Schedule 2 to the ordinance.

Noting that the amendment had been gazetted and came into effect on Friday, the spokesman said the ordinance required the owner or the person in charge of a laboratory to notify the Director of Health immediately of the leakage of any infectious agent specified in Schedule 2 to the ordinance in the laboratory that may pose a public health risk.

As influenza A/H1N1 virus is a potentially dangerous pathogen, it is important for incidents of leakage of the virus from laboratories to be subject to the statutory notification requirement, so as to facilitate early detection of such incidents, and to enable appropriate control measures to be implemented in a timely manner for the protection of laboratory workers and prevention of spread of diseases.

The department has sent letters to all laboratories to inform them of the legislative amendment and reporting requirement.

(Xinhua News Agency May 22, 2009)

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