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CHP investigates case of severe paediatric influenza B infection
     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (January 14) investigating a case of severe paediatric influenza B infection.
     The case involves a 3-year-old boy with underlying illness, who presented with shortness of breath and decreased general condition on January 12. He was sent to the Accident and Emergency Department of Yan Chai Hospital and was then transferred to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit of Princess Margaret Hospital for further management on the same day.
     His nasopharyngeal aspirate tested positive for influenza B virus upon laboratory testing. The clinical diagnosis was influenza B infection complicated with pneumonia and septic shock. He is in a critical condition.
     Initial enquiries revealed that the patient had yet to receive seasonal influenza vaccination for the current season and had no recent travel history. His parents have developed upper respiratory tract infection symptoms since late December 2017. Both of them still present with mild symptoms and are in a stable condition. Investigations are ongoing.
     "Hong Kong has entered the 2017-18 winter influenza season. We anticipate that local seasonal influenza activity will continue to rise in the coming weeks and remain at an elevated level for some time. Members of the public should maintain good personal protection against influenza," a spokesman for the CHP said.
     "Particularly, children, the elderly and those with underlying illnesses are 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. They 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," the spokesman added.
     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 pageweekly Flu Express report and vaccination schemes page for more information.
Ends/Sunday, January 14, 2018
Issued at HKT 18:33
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