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Case of invasive Haemophilus influenzae type b infection under CHP investigation
     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (January 29) investigating a case of invasive Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) infection, and hence urged the public to maintain good personal hygiene, especially hand hygiene.
     The case involves a 20-month-old boy with good past health, who has presented with fever, convulsion and confusion since January 26. He was admitted to Yan Chai Hospital and was subsequently transferred to the paediatric intensive care unit of Princess Margaret Hospital for further management on the same day. The patient is now in serious condition.
     His blood culture collected on January 26 tested positive for Hib upon laboratory testing. His clinical diagnoses were sepsis and meningitis.
     The patient had no recent travel history and his home contacts remain asymptomatic. Investigations are ongoing.
     Invasive Hib infection has been a statutory notifiable infectious disease since July 2008. This is the first case reported this year. Two cases were reported last year while one case (death) was reported in 2016.
     Invasive Hib infection commonly presents clinically as infection of membranes covering the brain (meningitis), often accompanied by bacteria entering the bloodstream. It may also affect other parts of the body such as the lungs, the upper part of the throat (epiglottis), joints and bones. Prompt antibiotic treatment is necessary.
     "Hib infection can be spread by contact with the nose or throat secretions of a patient. If persistent fever, unusual changes in behaviour or other deteriorating conditions develop, or if in doubt, seek medical attention immediately," a spokesman for the CHP said.
     Members of the public are advised to observe personal hygiene and take heed of the preventive measures below:
  • Maintain hand hygiene and clean hands properly;
  • Wash hands when they are soiled with respiratory secretions, such as after sneezing or coughing;
  • Cover the nose and mouth while sneezing or coughing and dispose of nasal discharge and sputum properly;
  • Do not share eating and drinking utensils, and wash them thoroughly after use;
  • Avoid going to crowded places if not feeling well; and
  • An effective vaccine against Hib is available. For personal protection, seek advice from a health-care professional.
     The public may visit the CHP's invasive Hib page for more information.
Ends/Monday, January 29, 2018
Issued at HKT 19:10
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