CHP investigates three cases of severe paediatric influenza A infection


Hong Kong (HKSAR) -      The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (July 12) investigating three cases of severe paediatric influenza A infection, and again urged the public, particularly young children, to observe strict hand, personal and environmental hygiene amid the influenza season. Children, the elderly and those with chronic diseases should promptly seek medical advice if influenza-like symptoms develop.
 
     The first case involves a 19-month-old baby boy with good past health. He presented with fever, vomiting as well as convulsion on July 7 and was admitted to Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital on the same day and was subsequently admitted to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit for further treatment.

The patient had already been transferred back to general ward today and he is now in a stable condition.
 
     The clinical diagnosis was encephalopathy. The CHP's initial enquiries revealed that his family contacts have been asymptomatic all along.
 
     The second case is a 2-year-old girl with good past health. She presented with fever on July 10 and developed shortness of breath and convulsion on July 11.

The patient was admitted to Queen Elizabeth Hospital on the same day and was subsequently transferred to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit for further treatment. She is now in a critical condition.
 
     The clinical diagnoses were encephalopathy and shock. Initial enquiries revealed that her elder sister had recent upper respiratory tract infection symptoms with stable condition.

Other family contacts have been asymptomatic all along.
 
     The third case involves a 3-year-old girl, with good past health, who has presented with fever, cough and vomiting since July 10, and then developed convulsion on July 11. She was brought to the Accident and Emergency Department of Tuen Mun Hospital on the same day and was subsequently admitted to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit for further treatment. She is now in a serious condition.
 
     The clinical diagnosis was influenza A infection complicated with encephalopathy.

The CHP's initial enquiries revealed that her younger brother recently developed upper respiratory tract symptoms. Other home contacts were asymptomatic.
 
     The nasopharyngeal swabs of the three patients tested positive for influenza A virus upon laboratory testing. Initial enquiries revealed that all patients had not received seasonal influenza vaccination for the current season and had no travel history during the incubation period.

Investigations by the CHP into three cases are ongoing.
 
     The public should maintain good personal and environmental hygiene against influenza and other respiratory illnesses:
 
•    Receive seasonal influenza vaccination for personal protection;
•    Wash hands with liquid soap and water properly whenever possibly contaminated;
•    When hands are not visibly soiled, clean them with 70 to 80 per cent alcohol-based handrub as an effective alternative;
•    Wash or clean hands frequently, especially before touching the mouth, nose or eyes, or after touching public installations such as handrails or door knobs;
•    Cover the nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing, and wash hands thoroughly afterwards;
•    Dispose of soiled tissue paper properly in a lidded rubbish bin;
•    Put on a surgical mask when respiratory symptoms develop;
•    Maintain good indoor ventilation;
•    When influenza is prevalent, avoid going to crowded or poorly ventilated public places; high-risk individuals may consider putting on surgical masks when staying in such places; and
•    Maintain a balanced diet, exercise regularly, take adequate rest, do not smoke and avoid overstress.
 
     The public may visit the CHP's http://www.chp.gov.hk/en/view_content/14843.html" target="_blank">influenza page, http://www.chp.gov.hk/en/view_content/2108.html" target="_blank">weekly Flu Express report and http://www.chp.gov.hk/en/view_content/17980.html" target="_blank">vaccination schemes page for more information.



Published on: 2017-07-12

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