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Case of invasive Haemophilus influenzae type b infection investigated

     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (August 8) urged members of the public to maintain good environmental and personal hygiene to prevent Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) infection.

     The appeal was made after the CHP received a report of a case of invasive Hib involving a 2-year-old boy.

     The patient, who had good past health, presented with fever, vomiting and decreased food intake since August 5 and was admitted to United Christian Hospital on August 7. His clinical diagnosis was meningitis. He is currently in stable condition.

     His cerebrospinal fluid tested positive for Haemophilus influenzae serotype b. He has no recent travel history and his home contacts are asymptomatic.

     Hib is a germ that infrequently causes invasive disease in young children. The risk of invasive disease among older people is even lower.

     Invasive Hib disease commonly presents as infection of membranes covering the brain (meningitis), often accompanied by the germs entering the bloodstream. It may also affect other parts of the body, such as the lungs, the upper part of the throat, joints and bones. Prompt antibiotic treatment is usually effective in curing the infection.

     Hib infection has been a statutory notifiable disease since July 14, 2008. This is the third Hib case in 2013. One case was reported in each of the past two years.

     To prevent Hib infection, members of the public are advised to observe personal hygiene and adopt the following measures:

* Maintain hand hygiene and clean hands properly;
* Wash hands when they are soiled with respiratory secretions, e.g. after sneezing or coughing;
* Cover the nose and mouth while sneezing or coughing and dispose of nasal discharge and sputum properly;
* Do not share eating and drinking utensils and wash them thoroughly after use; and
* Avoid going to crowded places if not feeling well.

Ends/Thursday, August 8, 2013
Issued at HKT 17:34


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