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Case of severe paediatric influenza A under CHP investigation

     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (June 4) investigating a case of severe paediatric influenza A affecting a 1-year-old girl.

     The patient, with good past health, has presented with fever, cough with sputum and runny nose since May 20. She received medical attention from a private doctor on May 22 and 26 respectively and was admitted to Caritas Medical Centre on May 27. She has developed seizure since June 1 and was transferred to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit yesterday (June 3) for further management.

     Her clinical diagnosis was encephalitis and she is now in critical condition.

     Her nasopharyngeal aspirate tested positive for influenza A(H3) virus upon preliminary laboratory testing by Princess Margaret Hospital.

     Initial enquiries by the CHP revealed that the patient had no recent travel history. One of her home contacts who recently had upper respiratory infection symptoms had recovered while other home contacts have remained asymptomatic so far. Investigations are under way.

     To prevent respiratory tract infections, a spokesman for the CHP urged members of the public to take heed of the following advice:
* Build up good body immunity by having a proper diet, regular exercise and adequate rest, reducing stress and avoiding smoking;
* Maintain good personal hygiene, wash hands after sneezing or coughing and cleaning the nose, and wear a mask when symptoms of respiratory tract infection develop;
* Maintain good ventilation;
* Avoid visiting crowded places with poor ventilation; and
* Receive seasonal influenza vaccination. For details, please visit the Influenza Page of the CHP's website (

Ends/Wednesday, June 4, 2014
Issued at HKT 15:21


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