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CHP investigates case of severe paediatric influenza A infection
     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) is today (January 29) investigating a case of severe paediatric influenza A infection.

     The case involves a 2-month-old baby boy with good past health, who has presented with fever, cough and runny nose since January 24. He was brought to the Accident and Emergency Department of Prince of Wales Hospital for medical attention on January 28 and was admitted and transferred to the paediatric intensive care unit of the hospital for further management on the same day. His nasopharyngeal aspirate tested positive for influenza A virus upon laboratory testing. The clinical diagnosis was influenza A infection complicated with severe pneumonia. He is now in a serious condition.

     Initial enquiries revealed that the patient had no travel history during the incubation period. His grandparents and a male relative had upper respiratory tract infection symptoms recently, and they sought medical attention and have been in a stable condition. No hospitalisation is required. His other home contacts have remained asymptomatic so far.

     The CHP's investigations are ongoing.

    "The latest surveillance data indicated that the local seasonal influenza activity may remain at an elevated level for some time. 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 DH 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.

     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/Tuesday, January 29, 2019
Issued at HKT 18:00
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