CHP investigates case of severe paediatric influenza A infection

     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (May 23) investigating a case of severe paediatric influenza A infection.

     The 13-year-old boy, with good past health, has presented with fever, cough and sore throat since May 12. He attended the Accident and Emergency Department of Kwong Wah Hospital (KWH) on May 16. He was admitted and was subsequently transferred to the paediatric intensive care unit of KWH for further management on the same day.

     His nasopharyngeal aspirate tested positive for influenza A (H3) virus upon laboratory testing. The clinical diagnosis was influenza A infection complicated with pneumonia and pleural effusion. He is now in a stable condition.

     Initial enquiries revealed that the patient had not received seasonal influenza vaccination for the current season and had no travel history in the incubation period. His home contacts are asymptomatic so far. 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/Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Issued at HKT 17:30