CHP investigates case of severe paediatric influenza A infection
The case involves a two-year-old boy with long-term medical condition, who has presented with fever since January 15 and developed cough, runny nose, decreased appetite and irritability since January 21. He was brought to the Accident and Emergency Department of Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital for medical attention today and was admitted to the paediatric intensive care unit there for management. He was transferred to Queen Mary Hospital for further management this evening.
His nasopharyngeal swab tested positive for influenza A virus upon laboratory testing. The clinical diagnosis was influenza A infection complicated with septic shock. 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 mother and elder brother had developed upper respiratory tract infection symptoms and are in a stable condition. His other home contact has remained asymptomatic so far.
The CHP's investigations are ongoing.
"The latest surveillance data indicated that the local seasonal influenza activity may continue to rise in the period ahead. We urge the community to continue heightening its vigilance against seasonal influenza. As young children are particularly affected in this influenza season, we appeal 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/Thursday, January 24, 2019
Issued at HKT 19:53
Issued at HKT 19:53