CHP investigates case of severe paediatric influenza A infection

     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (November 28) 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. Children, the elderly and those with chronic diseases should promptly seek medical advice if influenza-like symptoms develop.

     The 5-year-old girl, with good past health, has presented with fever, cough with sputum and vomiting since November 24. She was admitted to Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) on the same day and was subsequently transferred to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit for further management.

     Her nasopharyngeal aspirate tested positive for influenza A (H3) upon testing by PMH. The clinical diagnosis is influenza A infection complicated with septic shock. She is now in stable condition.

     Initial enquiries revealed that the patient had no travel history during the incubation period and her home contacts 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 following CHP pages for more information: the influenza page, the weekly Flu Express report and the vaccination schemes page.

Ends/Monday, November 28, 2016
Issued at HKT 20:02