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CHP investigates case of severe paediatric influenza A infection

     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (April 22) investigating a case of severe paediatric influenza A 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.

     A five-month-old baby boy, with underlying illnesses, has presented with fever, cough and shortness of breath since April 17. He was admitted to Kwong Wah Hospital on April 18 and was transferred to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit on April 19 for further management.

     His nasopharyngeal aspirate tested positive for influenza A(H1) virus upon testing by Princess Margaret Hospital. The clinical diagnosis was pneumonia and he is now in a stable condition.

     Initial enquiries revealed that the patient has no recent travel history. His maternal grandfather, who recently had upper respiratory tract symptoms, sought medical attention and is in a stable condition. Other home contacts have remained asymptomatic.

     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/Friday, April 22, 2016
Issued at HKT 18:01


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