Information about Influenza A (H1N1) Am I covered against Influenza A (H1N1)? The continuous infected cases of Influenza A (H1N1) (formerly known as Swine Influenza or Swine Flu) in several countries has led to sudden outbreak of the disease around the world. As of 3 May, the number of infected patients increased to 397 causing 101 deaths in Mexico, the first infected area. Infection cases also appeared in the USA, Canada, Spain, Britain and Germany. In 1 May, a Mexican guest brought the first case of infection to Hong Kong and at least 300 persons were put in isolation. Precaution should be taken to prevent the disease. Let us first know more about Influenza A (H1N1). What is Influenza A (H1N1)?
Influenza A (H1N1) is an acute respiratory disease which is highly contagious and is
caused by one or several Influenza A (H1N1) virus(es). It is spread by aerosols,
direct or indirect contact of infected pigs. The virus usually spreads among pigs.
As pig can be infected with avian flu virus and human seasonal flu virus at the same
time, the genes from these viruses can be mixed and result in a flu virus that contains
genes from a number of sources, namely a “reassortant” virus. They cross species
barrier to form diseases in human, and may be the cause of recent Influenza A
What are the symptoms of Influenza A (H1N1)?
The symptoms are similar to that of common flu including fever, body aches, running
nose, sore throat, feel like vomiting, vomiting and diarrhea. If you suffer from the
above symptoms, consult your doctor immediately.
Children or adults who appear the following emergencies should seek for immediate
Flu-like symptoms improved but have fever again and with severe cough
Extremely short-tempered and refused to be hugged
Pain in or pressure on the chest or abdomen
What drugs are available to treat Influenza A (H1N1)?
Mexico and the USA is the area where Influenza A (H1N1) first developed. The US
Government and local authorities obtained information from the recent cases and
recommended using Tamiflu or Relenza to treat the disease because the drugs are
sensitive to Influenza A (H1N1). The drugs can inhibit the virus from reproducing in
the body and avoid serious flu complications. The drugs work best when the
patients appear symptoms in the first two days.
How to prevent Influenza A (H1N1)?
As there is no vaccine available to prevent the flu, we have to protect ourselves and
keep personal hygiene so as to prevent the virus from spreading and to lower the risk
of infecting respiratory diseases and flu:
If you are flu patients, keep away from other people and stay at home. Avoid
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing
Drink enough water and keep a balanced diet
Is it safe to eat pork or produce of pig?
There is no statistical evidence that Influenza A (H1N1) can be transmitted to people
by eating pork or pork-products, but we should bear in mind that all pork and
pork-products should be cooked thoroughly in 70 ﾟ C to kill the Influenza A (H1N1)
The World Health Organization (WHO) and Hong Kong Government (HKG) has activated Pandemic Alert Phase 5 and The Emergency Response Level under the Government's Preparedness Plan for Influenza Pandemic respectively. What do they mean?
Pandemic Alert Phase 5 means the virus has caused sustained community level
outbreaks in at least two countries in one WHO region. This means pandemic is
considered imminent. The Emergency Response Level under the Government's
Preparedness Plan for Influenza Pandemic means that there is evidence confirming
efficient human-to-human transmission of novel influenza occurring overseas or in
Hong Kong. It is also applicable to pandemic influenza which means the influenza
strain is beginning to cause several outbreaks in at least one country, and spread to
other countries, with consistent disease patterns indicating high morbidity and
mortality is likely to occur in at least one portion of the population.
Is it safe to travel?
World Health Organization is not recommending travel restriction, but the Hong Kong
Government has strongly advised residents to avoid all unnecessary travel to
Influenza A (H1N1) affected areas. People who are ill should delay their travel plans.
Travelers should pay special attention to the latest developments in Influenza A
(H1N1) and consider postponing trips to affected areas. If the travel is unavoidable,
strict personal hygiene should be kept and the following preventive measures should
Prepare adequate surgical face masks and alcohol-based hand cleaners
Wash hands frequently with cleansing fluid and water, or apply alcohol-based
When appear symptoms of fever and respiratory tract infection, seek medical
After returning from an affected area, wear a face mask for 7 days and pay
Centre for Health Protection, Hong Kong Department of Health
The above information is for reference only and do not represent professional advice on preventing and
treating Influenza A (H1N1). Consult your doctor or Hong Kong Department of Health for
The sudden outbreak of Influenza A (H1N1) had raised great international concern. Do you, as the insured of a life/medical insurance policy, have any concern about whether Influenza A (H1N1) is being covered? Will death benefit be payable if an insured suffered from Influenza A
Yes, according to the provision of life insurance policy, death caused by
accident or sickness is covered. The death benefit less outstanding
indebtedness and related premium is payable to the named beneficiary.
Does my in-patient medical policy provide coverage for in-patient medical expenses if I am diagnosed by a physician as suffering from Influenza A (H1N1)?
Yes, if you are diagnosed by a physician as suffering from Influenza A
(H1N1) and require to be hospitalized, your in-patient medical expenses
will be payable according to the policy provisions.
If I have a dread disease policy with Hong Kong Life and being diagnosed by a physician as suffering from pneumonia after being infected with Influenza A (H1N1), will I be covered?
No, as Influenza A (H1N1) is not covered under the dread disease policy
provisions, claim payment is not payable.
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