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Boy infected with H5 in stable condition

     The serious response level under the Government's Preparedness Plan for influenza pandemic was activated today (June 1) as the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) investigated a case of influenza A H5 infection affecting a two-year-old boy.

     The patient developed fever and runny nose on May 23 in Guangdong province. He came to Hong Kong on May 26 and sought medical attention from a private medical clinic in Mong Kok. Subsequently, he developed febrile convulsion and was taken to the Accident and Emergency Department of Caritas Medical Centre on May 28.  He was admitted for suspected encephalitis. He is now in stable condition.

     A spokesman for the CHP said that the nasopharyngeal aspirate taken from the boy tested positive for Influenza A (H5). Further studies on the virus were in progress.

     Investigation revealed that the patient lived in Guangdong province with his parents and maternal grandmother. His exposure history during incubation period is pending.

     His home contacts were asymptomatic.

     A telephone hotline, 2125 1111, has been set up to answer public enquiries from tomorrow (June 2). The hotline will be operated from 9am to 6pm.

     "The CHP is also closely liaising with the Mainland authorities and the Hospital Authority to monitor the situation," the spokesman said.

     He advised members of the public that the best way to combat influenza infection was to build up body resistance by having a proper diet with adequate exercise and rest.

     "Good ventilation should be maintained to avoid the spread of respiratory tract infection.

     "Members of the public should seek medical consultation promptly if they develop influenza-like illness.

     "Members of the public should also avoid direct contact with poultry and birds, and if contacts have been made, they should wash hands thoroughly with soap and water," the spokesman said.

Ends/Friday, June 1, 2012
Issued at HKT 23:36


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