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Case of invasive Haemophilus influenzae type b infection under CHP investigation

     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (December 17) investigating a case of invasive Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) infection affecting a 1-month-old baby boy, and hence urged the public to maintain good personal hygiene, especially hand hygiene.
     The patient, with good past health, presented with fever on December 13 and was admitted to Kwong Wah Hospital the next day. His clinical diagnosis is meningitis and he is currently in a stable condition.

     His cerebrospinal fluid sample tested positive for the Hib antigen upon laboratory testing by the hospital.
     The patient has no recent travel history. His mother developed runny nose on December 14 and consulted a private doctor for treatment. She is now in a stable condition. Other home contacts remain asymptomatic. Investigations are ongoing.
     Invasive Hib infection has been a statutory notifiable infectious disease since July 2008. This is the sixth case this year. Three cases (including one death) and one case were reported in 2013 and 2012 respectively.
     Invasive Hib infection commonly presents clinically as infection of membranes covering the brain (meningitis), often accompanied by bacteria entering the bloodstream. It may also affect other parts of the body such as the lungs, the upper part of the throat (epiglottis), joints and bones. Prompt antibiotic treatment is necessary.
     "Hib infection can be spread by contact with the nose or throat secretions of a patient. If persistent fever, unusual changes in behaviour and deteriorating conditions develop, or in cases of doubt, seek medical attention immediately," a spokesman for the CHP said.
     Members of the public are advised to observe personal hygiene and take heed of the preventive measures below:
* Maintain hand hygiene and clean hands properly;
* Wash hands when they are soiled with respiratory secretions, such as 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;
* Avoid going to crowded places if not feeling well; and
* An effective vaccine against Hib is available. For personal protection, seek advice from a health-care professional.
     The public may visit the CHP's invasive Hib page ( for more information.

Ends/Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Issued at HKT 17:24


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