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CHP investigates a case of severe paediatric influenza B infection and outbreak of influenza B at primary school in Sham Shui Po
     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (January 15) investigating a case of severe paediatric influenza B infection and an influenza B outbreak at a primary school in Sham Shui Po.
     For the case of severe paediatric influenza B infection, it involves a 15-year-old girl with good past health, who has presented with fever, lethargy, nausea and vomiting since January 10. She was admitted to Yan Chai Hospital on January 14 and transferred to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit of Princess Margaret Hospital for further management on January 15.
     Her nasopharyngeal aspirate tested positive for influenza B virus upon laboratory testing. The clinical diagnosis was encephalopathy and she is now in a serious condition.
     Initial enquiries revealed that the patient received influenza vaccination in the Mainland in December last year. She had no recent travel history during the incubation period. Her mother had developed upper respiratory tract infection symptoms recently and had attended a general outpatient clinic with stable condition. Her other home contacts were asymptomatic. Investigations are ongoing.    
     Separately, the influenza B outbreak at the primary school in Sham Shui Po involves 19 boys and nine girls aged six to 11, who have developed fever, cough and sore throat since January 6. All of them sought medical attention and one required hospitalisation for treatment. They are all in a stable condition. The respiratory specimen of two affected students tested positive for influenza B virus.
     For the primary school with influenza outbreak, officers of the CHP have conducted a site visit. The school is advised to adopt necessary infection control measures against respiratory infections and has been put under medical surveillance.    
     "Hong Kong has entered the 2017-18 winter influenza season. We anticipate that local seasonal influenza activity will continue to rise in the coming weeks and remain at an elevated level for some time. Members of the public should maintain good personal protection against influenza," a spokesman for the CHP said.
     "Particularly, children, the elderly and those with underlying illnesses are urged to get vaccinated as early as possible to prevent seasonal influenza as it takes about two weeks for antibodies to develop in the body after vaccination. They should promptly seek medical advice if influenza-like symptoms develop so that appropriate treatment can be initiated as early as possible to prevent potential complications. Parents and carers are reminded to render assistance in personal protection and prevention measures for vulnerable people," the spokesman added.

     For schools and institutions, they are reminded to follow the Guidelines on Prevention of Communicable Diseases on preventive and control measures as well as management of outbreaks, which should be reported to the CHP for prompt follow-up.

     The public could visit the CHP's influenza pageweekly Flu Express report and vaccination schemes page for more information against influenza and other respiratory illnesses.
Ends/Monday, January 15, 2018
Issued at HKT 19:28
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