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Case of invasive Haemophilus influenzae type b infection under CHP investigation
     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (January 5) investigating a case of invasive Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) infection, and hence urged the public to maintain good personal hygiene, especially hand hygiene.
     The case involves a 73-year-old woman with underlying illnesses. She presented with fever, cough, running nose, sore throat, shortness of breath, headache, neck pain, knee pain, vomiting and anorexia since December 31, 2022. She attended the Accident and Emergency Department of Tuen Mun Hospital on January 2, 2023, and was admitted for treatment on the same day. The patient is now in stable condition.
     Her blood sample tested positive for Hib upon laboratory testing. Her clinical diagnoses were septic arthritis and septicaemia.
     The patient lives alone and has no recent travel history. Investigations are ongoing.
     Invasive Hib infection has been a statutorily notifiable infectious disease since July 2008. Invasive Hib infection commonly presents clinically as an infection of membranes covering the brain (meningitis), often accompanied by bacteria entering the bloodstream. It may also affect other parts of the body such as the lungs, the upper part of the throat (epiglottis), joints and bones. Prompt antibiotic treatment is necessary.
     "Hib infection can be spread by contact with the nose or throat secretions of a patient. If a persistent fever, unusual changes in behaviour or other deteriorating conditions develop, or if in doubt, seek medical attention immediately," a spokesman for the CHP said.
     Members of the public are advised to observe personal hygiene and take heed of the preventive measures below:
  • Maintain hand hygiene and clean hands properly;
  • Wash hands when they are soiled with respiratory secretions, such as after sneezing or coughing;
  • Cover the nose and mouth while sneezing or coughing and dispose of nasal discharge and sputum properly;
  • Do not share eating and drinking utensils, and wash them thoroughly after use;
  • Avoid going to crowded places if not feeling well; and
  • An effective vaccine against Hib is available. For personal protection, seek advice from a health-care professional.
     The public may visit the CHP's invasive Hib page for more information.
Ends/Thursday, January 5, 2023
Issued at HKT 19:15
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