CHP investigates case of severe paediatric influenza A infection
"The local seasonal influenza activity remains at a high level and it is expected to remain active in the coming weeks. We strongly urge the public, particularly children, the elderly and chronic disease patients, to adopt strict personal, hand and environmental hygiene both locally and during travel in the summer," a spokesman for the CHP said.
The 6-month-old baby girl, with good past health, has developed fever, cough, diarrhoea and convulsion since July 30. She was taken to the Accident and Emergency Department of United Christian Hospital for medical attention the next day and was admitted to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit for further management directly.
Her nasopharyngeal aspirate tested positive for influenza A(H3) virus upon laboratory testing. The clinical diagnoses were encephalopathy and myocarditis. The patient is now in a stable condition.
Initial enquiries revealed that the patient had yet to receive seasonal influenza vaccination and had no travel history in the incubation period. Her mother and 4-year-old elder sister had recent upper respiratory tract infection symptoms and sought medical attention with stable condition. Other home contacts remain asymptomatic. Investigations are ongoing.
"Hong Kong is currently in the summer influenza season and it is expected to last for some time. The public should wash or clean hands frequently, especially before touching the mouth, nose or eyes, or after touching public installations such as handrails or door knobs. Wear a mask when respiratory symptoms develop, especially when going to crowded places or attending gatherings. High-risk persons may wear masks against infections," the spokesman said.
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 as an effective alternative;
- 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 influenza page, weekly Flu Express report and vaccination schemes page for more information.
Ends/Wednesday, August 2, 2017
Issued at HKT 18:00
Issued at HKT 18:00