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CHP investigates case of severe paediatric influenza A infection
     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (April 27) investigating a case of severe paediatric influenza A infection.

     The 11-year-old girl, with underlying illness, has presented with fever, cough with sputum, runny nose and seizure since yesterday (April 26). She attended the Accident and Emergency Department of Princess Margaret Hospital yesterday and was admitted to the intensive care unit of the Hospital for further management on the same day.

     Her nasopharyngeal aspirate tested positive for influenza A virus upon laboratory testing. The clinical diagnosis was influenza A infection complicated with sepsis and status epilepticus. She is now in a serious condition.

     Initial enquiries revealed that the patient had received seasonal influenza vaccination for the current season and had no travel history in the incubation period. Her home contact is asymptomatic so far.

     Separately, the CHP is also investigating an outbreak of upper respiratory tract infection (URI) at a school in Tsing Yi, and appealed to members of the public to stay alert and maintain strict personal and environmental hygiene.

     The outbreak involves one boy and four girls aged 8 to 16 (including the case above), as well as one male staff member, who have developed URI symptoms including fever, cough, runny nose and sore throat since April 24. In addition to the case above, one student and one staff member also sought medical attention and the duo did not require hospitalisation. Except the case above, the rest of the patients are in a stable condition.

     Officers of the CHP have conducted a site visit and advised the school to adopt necessary infection control measures against respiratory tract infections. The school has been placed under medical surveillance. Investigations are ongoing.

     The public should maintain good personal and environmental hygiene for protection 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;
  • 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.

     For more information, please visit the CHP's influenza page and weekly Flu Express.
Ends/Friday, April 27, 2018
Issued at HKT 23:24
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