CHP investigates severe paediatric influenza A case involving 13-year-old girl

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Princess Margaret Hospital

21st September 2023 – (Hong Kong) The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health has initiated an investigation into a case of severe paediatric influenza A infection today. The CHP also issued a reminder to the community to remain vigilant against the influenza virus.

The case involves a 13-year-old girl with a previously healthy medical history, who began experiencing symptoms of fever and sore throat since 19th September. Seeking medical attention, she visited North Lantau Hospital on 20th September and was subsequently transferred to the paediatric intensive care unit at Princess Margaret Hospital for specialised treatment on the same day. Laboratory tests confirmed the presence of influenza A (H3) virus in her respiratory specimen. The clinical diagnosis indicated influenza A infection complicated with shock. Fortunately, her condition has improved following treatment, and she is currently in stable condition.

Preliminary investigations conducted by the CHP revealed that the patient had not travelled during the incubation period. However, one of her household contacts is currently displaying symptoms related to the virus. The CHP’s investigations are ongoing to determine the source and potential transmission routes.

The CHP emphasises the importance of remaining vigilant and taking necessary precautions against influenza. Influenza viruses are highly contagious and can spread easily within communities, particularly during seasonal outbreaks. It is crucial for individuals to practice good personal hygiene, such as regular handwashing, wearing masks when necessary, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle to strengthen their immune system.