CHP investigates case of severe paediatric influenza B infection and three outbreaks of influenza B at kindergartens
The case of severe paediatric influenza B infection involves a 9-year-old boy with good past health, who has presented with fever, cough, running nose, sore throat, vomiting and abdominal pain since January 19. He was brought to the Accident and Emergency Department of Tseung Kwan O Hospital on January 24 and was admitted for management on the same day. He was then transferred to the paediatric intensive care unit of Queen Mary Hospital for further treatment on the following day.
His nasopharyngeal swab tested positive for influenza B virus. The clinical diagnosis was influenza B infection complicated with septic shock and he is now in a stable condition.
The patient had no travel history during the incubation period and did not receive seasonal influenza vaccination (SIV) for the current season. His home contacts were asymptomatic. Investigations are ongoing.
Separately, the influenza B outbreak at a kindergarten-cum-child care centre in Tuen Mun involves 12 boys and eight girls aged 2 to 5, who have developed fever, cough, running nose and sore throat since January 5. All of them sought medical attention and three required hospitalisation for treatment. They are all in a stable condition. The respiratory specimen of four affected students tested positive for influenza B virus.
The influenza B outbreak at a kindergarten in North District has affected 14 boys and six girls aged 3 to 5, who have developed fever, cough and sore throat since January 11. Seventeen of them sought medical attention, among whom one required hospitalisation for treatment. All of the patients are in a stable condition. The nasopharyngeal aspirate of one affected student tested positive for influenza B virus.
The influenza B outbreak at a kindergarten in Sham Shui Po involves 13 boys and eight girls aged 3 to 5 who have developed fever, cough and sore throat since January 19. All of them sought medical attention and two required hospitalisation for treatment. They are all in a stable condition. The respiratory specimen of six affected students tested positive for influenza B virus.
Officers of the CHP have conducted site visits and advised the three schools with outbreaks of influenza B to adopt necessary infection control measures against respiratory infections. The schools have been put under medical surveillance.
A spokesman for the CHP said, "The local seasonal influenza activity has been rising markedly in the past two weeks to a high level. The influenza activity may increase further in the coming few weeks and will remain at an elevated level for some time. We strongly urge the public, particularly children, the elderly and chronic disease patients, to observe strict personal, hand and environmental hygiene for better personal protection against seasonal influenza and other respiratory illnesses in view of the expected arrival of a cold front next week as cold weather can easily trigger or exacerbate diseases especially among such high-risk groups. In particular, high-risk individuals should avoid going to crowded or poorly ventilated public places and put on surgical masks if they visit such places.
"To prevent influenza outbreaks in schools, it is very important that children with fever and respiratory symptoms should not attend schools till 48 hours after the fever has subsided. Schools and institutions 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 spokesman said.
"Children, the elderly and those with underlying illnesses are recommended to get vaccinated against seasonal influenza for better personal protection. People 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 prevention, care and control for vulnerable people."
Besides receiving SIV for personal protection, the public should maintain good personal and environmental hygiene for protection against influenza and other respiratory illnesses. For more information, please visit the CHP's influenza page and weekly Flu Express for more information.
Ends/Friday, January 26, 2018
Issued at HKT 18:36
Issued at HKT 18:36