Go to main content
CHP investigates case of severe paediatric influenza A infection
     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (January 22) investigating a case of severe paediatric influenza A infection.

     The eight-year-old boy, with good past health, has presented with fever, headache and vomiting since January 21. He was admitted to Tuen Mun Hospital (TMH) on January 22 and was subsequently transferred to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit for further management on the same day.

     His nasopharyngeal swab tested positive for influenza A virus upon testing by TMH. The clinical diagnosis is influenza A infection complicated with pneumonia. The patient is now in stable condition.

     Initial enquiries revealed that the patient had no travel history during the incubation period. His home contacts have remained asymptomatic.

     A spokesman for the CHP again urged the public, particularly young children, to get vaccinated promptly for personal protection for the winter influenza season. Children, the elderly and those with chronic diseases are most vulnerable and should promptly seek medical advice if influenza-like symptoms develop.

     The government launched the 2016/17 Vaccination Subsidy Scheme (VSS) and Government Vaccination Programme (GVP) respectively in October and November last year.

     "In addition to children aged from 6 months to under 6 years, the Government has extended the VSS and the GVP this year to cover children aged 6 to under 12. Based on previous epidemiological and clinical experiences, vaccinating school children can reduce influenza-related complications, hospitalisations and deaths," the spokesman said.

     Apart from children, the VSS and the GVP also cover, amongst other groups, all pregnant women, elderly persons aged 65 or above, community-living persons with intellectual disabilities and persons receiving Disability Allowance.

     "We strongly appeal to eligible groups of both the GVP and the VSS to get vaccinated early as it takes about two weeks for antibodies to develop in the body after vaccination," the spokesman added.

     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, the vaccination schemes page in general, and those on the GVP and the VSS.
Ends/Sunday, January 22, 2017
Issued at HKT 20:00
Today's Press Releases