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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 (March 22) investigating a case of severe paediatric influenza A infection.

     The case involves a 1-month-old boy with good past health, who has presented with runny nose, vomiting, drowsiness and seizure since March 16. He was taken to the Accident and Emergency Department of Tseung Kwan O Hospital for medical attention on March 16 and was admitted. He was transferred to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit of Queen Elizabeth Hospital on the same day for further management.
     His nasopharyngeal swab tested positive for influenza A (H3) virus upon laboratory testing. The clinical diagnosis was influenza A infection complicated with encephalopathy. He is now in a stable condition.

     Initial enquiries revealed that the patient had no travel history during the incubation period. His elder sister and grandfather developed upper respiratory tract infection symptoms recently and have sought medical attention. Both are in a stable condition and no hospitalisation is required. His other home contacts have remained asymptomatic so far.
     The CHP's investigations are ongoing.
     "The latest surveillance data showed that the local influenza activity has continued to decrease from the peak level in January but remained above the baseline threshold. 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.

     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/Friday, March 22, 2019
Issued at HKT 18:00
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