Case of severe paediatric influenza A infection under CHP investigation

     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (January 27) investigating a case of severe paediatric influenza A infection affecting a 2-year-old girl.

     The patient, with good past health, has presented with fever, cough, runny nose and shortness of breath since January 15. She sought medical advice from private doctors and was admitted to a private hospital on January 26. She was sent to Prince of Wales Hospital on the same day and was subsequently transferred to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit for further management. The clinical diagnosis is severe pneumonia and shock. She is currently in serious condition.
     Her nasopharyngeal aspirate tested positive for influenza A (H3) upon laboratory testing.
     Initial enquiries by the CHP revealed that the patient had no travel history during the incubation period. Four of her home contacts had developed symptoms of upper respiratory tract infection and they are currently in stable condition. The other home contact remained asymptomatic.
     Investigation is ongoing.
     The public should maintain good personal and environmental hygiene against influenza and other respiratory illnesses:
* Receive seasonal influenza vaccination for personal protection;
* Wash hands with liquid soap and water properly whenever possibly contaminated;
* When hands are not visibly soiled, clean them with 70 to 80 per cent alcohol-based handrub;
* Cover the nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing, and wash hands thoroughly afterwards;
* Dispose of soiled tissue paper properly in a lidded rubbish bin;
* Put on a surgical mask when respiratory symptoms develop;
* Maintain good indoor ventilation;
* When influenza is prevalent, avoid going to crowded or poorly ventilated public places; high-risk individuals may consider putting on surgical masks when staying in such places; and
* Maintain a balanced diet, exercise regularly, take adequate rest, do not smoke and avoid overstress.
     The public may visit the CHP's pages below for more information:
* The influenza page (;
* The weekly Flu Express report (;
* The vaccination schemes page (; and
* The list of participating doctors (

Ends/Tuesday, January 27, 2015
Issued at HKT 19:16