10-year-old girl hospitalised with severe paediatric influenza A infection

Queen Elizabeth Hospital

15th September 2023 – (Hong Kong) The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is currently investigating a concerning case of severe paediatric influenza A infection. The health authorities have issued a reminder to the public to remain vigilant against the influenza virus.

The case involves a 10-year-old girl who, until now, had been in good health. However, since 6th September, she has been experiencing symptoms such as fever, cough with sputum. Recognising the severity of her condition, she sought medical attention at Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) on 8th September and was promptly admitted for treatment on the same day. Due to the critical nature of her condition, she was subsequently transferred to the paediatric intensive care unit at QEH on 13th September. Laboratory tests confirmed that her respiratory specimen tested positive for influenza A (H3) virus. The clinical diagnosis indicated that she had contracted influenza A, which had further complicated into severe pneumonia. Fortunately, her condition has shown signs of improvement following the administered treatment, and she is currently in a stable condition.

Preliminary investigations conducted by the CHP have revealed that the patient did not have any recent travel history during the incubation period. Additionally, her household contacts are currently asymptomatic. The CHP’s ongoing investigations aim to shed more light on the origins and potential transmission of the infection.

In light of this case, health authorities are urging the community to heighten their vigilance towards the influenza virus. It is crucial for individuals to remain aware of the symptoms associated with influenza, such as fever, cough, sore throat, and fatigue. Practicing good personal hygiene, including regular handwashing and wearing masks when necessary, can help reduce the risk of transmission. The CHP also encourages individuals to receive annual influenza vaccinations, especially those in high-risk groups, such as young children, the elderly, and individuals with underlying health conditions.