CHP investigates case of severe paediatric influenza B infection and influenza B outbreak at kindergarten


Hong Kong (HKSAR) -      The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (January 31) investigating a case of severe paediatric influenza B infection and an influenza B outbreak at a kindergarten in Wong Tai Sin.

     The case of severe paediatric influenza B infection involves a 15-year-old girl with good past health, who has presented with fever, cough with sputum, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhoea and skin rash since January 22. She was admitted to the United Christian Hospital yesterday (January 30) and was subsequently transferred to the paediatric intensive care unit for further management.

     Her nasopharyngeal aspirate tested positive for influenza B virus. The clinical diagnosis was influenza B infection complicated with septic shock.

She is now in stable condition.

     The patient had no travel history during the incubation period and did not receive seasonal influenza vaccination for the current season. Her home contacts are asymptomatic so far.

     Separately, the influenza B outbreak at a kindergarten in Wong Tai Sin affected 21 students including seven boys and 14 girls aged from 3 to 6. They have developed fever, cough and sore throat since January 16.

Of the 20 patients who sought medical attention, two required hospitalisation and one has already been discharged. All affected persons are in stable condition.

     The respiratory specimen of one patient tested positive for influenza B virus upon laboratory testing.

     Officers of the CHP have conducted a site visit and advised the kindergarten to adopt infection control measures against respiratory infections. The school has been put under medical surveillance.

     A spokesman for the CHP said, "To prevent outbreaks of influenza and other respiratory infections, it is of prime importance that children with fever, regardless of the presence of respiratory symptoms, should not be allowed to attend school.

They should seek medical advice and avoid school till 48 hours after the fever has subsided. Schools should also measure and record students' body temperature properly."

     Schools are reminded to follow the http://www.chp.gov.hk/en/view_content/16365.html" target="_blank">Guidelines on Prevention of Communicable Diseases on preventive and control measures as well as management of outbreaks, which should be reported to the CHP for prompt follow-up.

     The spokesman said, "The local seasonal influenza activity is expected to remain at an elevated level in the coming few weeks. Children, the elderly and those with underlying illnesses are recommended to get vaccinated against seasonal influenza for better personal protection.

People should promptly seek medical advice 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 vaccine 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 http://www.chp.gov.hk/en/view_content/14843.html" target="_blank">influenza page and weekly http://www.chp.gov.hk/en/view_content/2108.html" target="_blank">Flu Express.



Published on: 2018-01-31

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