12-year-old girl’s severe paediatric influenza B infection under investigation by CHP

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Queen Mary Hospital,

13th May 2024 – (Hong Kong) The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is currently investigating a distressing case of severe paediatric influenza B infection. This incident serves as a reminder to the community to remain vigilant against the influenza virus. The CHP is urging members of the public to proactively receive the seasonal influenza vaccination (SIV) to enhance their protection during the influenza season.

The case involves a 12-year-old girl who had underlying health conditions. On 6th May, she developed a fever, which was followed by a cough with sputum and respiratory distress on 9th May. She was immediately taken to the accident and emergency department of Queen Mary Hospital, where she was admitted for medical care. Unfortunately, her condition worsened, and she was subsequently transferred to the paediatric intensive care unit of the hospital on 11th May. Laboratory testing confirmed the presence of influenza B virus in her respiratory specimen. The clinical diagnosis indicated an influenza B infection complicated by pneumonia. Presently, she remains in a serious condition.

Preliminary investigations by the CHP have revealed that the patient did not travel during the incubation period. Two individuals residing in her household were previously diagnosed with influenza B infection but have since recovered. Other household contacts are currently asymptomatic. The CHP’s investigations into the case are ongoing.