8-year-old girl dies from influenza A infection, suffers cardiac arrest

Caritas Medical Centre

18th June 2024 – (Hong Kong ) The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is currently looking into a tragic incident involving the death of an 8-year-old girl due to influenza A infection.

The victim, who had no underlying health conditions, began experiencing fever and vomiting on 16th June. She was promptly taken to a general practitioner, and subsequently transferred to Caritas Medical Centre (CMC) for further medical attention. Tragically, she experienced cardiac arrest at the emergency department of CMC and passed away on the same day. Laboratory tests confirmed the presence of influenza A (H3) virus in her respiratory specimen.

Preliminary investigations by the CHP have revealed that the patient did not have any recent travel history during the incubation period. Additionally, her family contacts currently show no symptoms, and there have been no reports of respiratory tract infections or influenza outbreaks at her school. The CHP is continuing its investigations, including a thorough examination into the exact cause of her death.

A spokesperson for the CHP emphasized the severity of influenza, which can affect both high-risk individuals and those in good health. To combat seasonal influenza and reduce the risk of complications, hospitalisation, and death, the spokesperson strongly recommended seasonal influenza vaccination (SIV) for all individuals aged 6 months or older, except for those with known contraindications. It is particularly crucial for high-risk groups such as the elderly and children to receive the SIV early. The current season’s influenza vaccine will expire in July, and the 2024/25 SIV program is expected to commence in September.