Boy dies from flu, outbreaks increasing

 

The Centre for Health Protection announced a fatal case of severe paediatric influenza B last Wednesday, according to Hong Kong’s Information Services Department.

Dr. Leung Ting-hung of the CHP told reporters that the patient, a six-year-old boy with an underlying illness, had developed a fever, cough and a runny nose in February 24. He later experienced abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhoea, and was admitted to Tseung Kwan O Hospital on February 29. He died on March 1.

The patient tested positive for influenza B virus.

As of March 2, 10 cases have been detected under the centre's routine surveillance for severe paediatric influenza-associated complications or deaths of children. Dr. Leung urged the public to be vigilant, get vaccinated, and maintain good personal and environmental hygiene. Children must be especially careful.

Schools are advised to check the temperature of all students each day upon arrival from school. Those with fever should be told to seek medical advice and avoid school for 48 hours after the fever subsides.

Children have been more susceptible to influenza this year, while the elderly were most affected in 2015. This is because of the difference in circulating flu strains, according to Dr. Ko Wing-man, Secretary for Food & Health. The major flu strain spreading in 2016 is H1N1, which particularly affects children; in contrast, H3N2 was more prevalent in 2015.

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