CHP investigates case of severe paediatric influenza B infection

     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (March 31) investigating a case of severe paediatric influenza B infection.
     The 6-year-old girl, with good past health, has presented with cough with sputum and decreased appetite today. She was noted to have decreased consciousness and cyanosis at school and subsequently developed convulsion. The patient was sent to the Accident and Emergency Department of Tuen Mun Hospital and was admitted. Subsequently, she was transferred to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit for further management.
     Her nasopharyngeal swab tested positive for influenza B virus upon laboratory testing. The clinical diagnosis is encephalitis. The patient is now in a critical condition.
     Initial enquiries revealed that the patient had not received the latest seasonal influenza vaccine and had no travel history during the incubation period. Her home contacts remain asymptomatic so far.
     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/Friday, March 31, 2017
Issued at HKT 22:59