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CHP investigates case of severe paediatric influenza infection

     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (April 3) investigating a case of severe paediatric influenza infection, and again urged the public, particularly young children, to get vaccinated promptly and observe strict hand, personal and environmental hygiene amid the winter influenza season. Children, the elderly and those with chronic diseases should promptly seek medical advice if influenza-like symptoms develop.

     The case involves a 16-year-old girl with underlying illnesses who has developed fever, cough, runny nose and poor appetite since March 25. She was admitted to Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) on March 31 and was transferred to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit for further management today. She is now in serious condition.

     Her nasopharyngeal swab tested positive for influenza A (H1) virus by QEH. Her clinical diagnosis is pneumonia.

     Initial investigation revealed that the patient had no recent travel history. Her mother and domestic helper recently had upper respiratory tract infection symptoms but in stable condition, while other home contacts remained asymptomatic.

     Investigations by the CHP into the case are 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;
* Wash or clean hands frequently, especially before touching the mouth, nose or eyes, or after touching public installations such as handrails or door knobs;
* 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 (; and
* The vaccination schemes page (

Ends/Sunday, April 3, 2016
Issued at HKT 18:53


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