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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 (January 21) investigating a case of invasive Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) infection, and hence urged the public to maintain good personal hygiene, especially hand hygiene.
     The case involved a 68-year-old man with underlying illnesses, who presented with chest pain and shortness of breath on January 3. He attended the Accident and Emergency Department of Kwong Wah Hospital and was admitted for treatment on January 6. The patient subsequently developed respiratory distress and was transferred to intensive care unit for treatment on the same day. His clinical diagnoses were suppurative pericarditis with pericardial effusion and empyema. The patient is now in stable condition.

     His pleural fluid sample was tested positive for Hib upon laboratory testing by the CHP's Public Health Laboratory Services Branch.

     The patient had no recent travel history and his home contact remains asymptomatic. Investigations are ongoing.

     Invasive Hib infection has been a statutory notifiable infectious disease since July 2008. This is the first case reported this year. One case was reported in last year while no cases were reported in 2015. Six cases and three cases (including one death) were reported in 2014 and 2013 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 or other deteriorating conditions develop, or if in 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/Saturday, January 21, 2017
Issued at HKT 19:01
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