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CHP investigates a GBS suspected case

     In response to media enquiry, the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) confirmed today (January 18) that a report from Queen Mary Hospital (QMH) of a suspected case of Guillain Barre Syndrome (GBS) affecting an 81-year old woman with history of influenza vaccination was received today.

     The patient, who has underlying medical conditions, received an influenza vaccination at a government out-patient clinic on December 22, 2010 and developed bilateral lower limb weakness on December 29, seven days after the vaccination. She was admitted to QMH on January 14 and is currently in stable condition.

     A spokesman for the CHP said that further investigations are being carried out to ascertain the diagnosis, including for GBS and other neurological conditions.

     He said that about 40 to 60 cases of GBS are seen in public hospitals each year. The baseline incidence of GBS is higher among elderly persons and during the winter season.

     In October, November and December 2010, the Hospital Authority recorded three, two and four cases of GBS respectively.

     "Since the commencement of the 2010/11 seasonal influenza vaccination programme in November 2010, the incidence of GBS among vaccinated persons is not higher than baseline GBS level, and as such the occurrence of this case does not establish the vaccine as being a cause of the condition", the spokesman said.

     The number of GBS cases following vaccination as compared with the number of baseline GBS cases will be updated in the CHP website every Monday.

Ends/Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Issued at HKT 19:22


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