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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 (January 20) investigating a case of severe paediatric influenza A infection.

     The case involves a 2-year-old boy with good past health, who has presented with fever and cough since January 19 and convulsion on January 20. He attended the Accident and Emergency Department of Tin Shui Wai Hospital on January 20 and was transferred to the paediatric intensive care unit of Tuen Mun Hospital on the same day for further management.

     His nasopharyngeal swab tested positive for influenza A(H1) virus upon laboratory testing. The clinical diagnosis was influenza A infection complicated with encephalopathy. He is now in a critical condition.

     Initial enquiries revealed that the patient had not received seasonal influenza vaccination for the current season and had no travel history during the incubation period. His home contacts have remained asymptomatic so far.

     The CHP's investigations are ongoing.
     "The latest surveillance data indicated that the local seasonal influenza activity has continued to increase in the past two weeks and may continue to rise in the period ahead. We urged the community to continue heightening their vigilance against seasonal influenza. As young children are particularly affected in this influenza season, we appealed to parents who have not yet arranged vaccination for their children in this season to do so as soon as possible to strengthen their personal protection," a spokesman for the CHP said.

     "Apart from children, people aged 50 to 64 years, the elderly and those with underlying illnesses who have not yet received influenza vaccination this season are also 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. Medical advice should be sought promptly 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," the spokesman added.

     Besides receiving seasonal influenza vaccination as early as possible 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.
Ends/Sunday, January 20, 2019
Issued at HKT 18:00
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