Girl, 6, in critical condition after contracting flu in Hong Kong

A six-year-old girl is in a critical condition after contracting the flu in Hong Kong, with health authorities investigating the case and underscoring the need for members of the public to get vaccinated.

The case emerged after an unvaccinated eight-year-old girl died last week after being infected with influenza A.

The Centre for Health Protection said on Monday the six-year-old girl, who was in good health previously, had developed a fever and cough on Friday and was brought to Union Hospital in Tai Wai the next day.

As her symptoms worsened, she was sent to the accident and emergency department at Prince of Wales Hospital in Sha Tin, where she was admitted to the paediatric intensive care unit the same day.

As her symptoms worsened, the girl was sent to the accident and emergency department at Prince of Wales Hospital in Sha Tin. PhotoJelly Tse

She was then transferred to the intensive care unit at Hong Kong Children’s Hospital in Kowloon Bay on Saturday evening.

“The clinical diagnosis was influenza A infection complicated with encephalopathy,” a spokesman said. “She is now in critical condition.”

Encephalopathy refers to altered brain function.

The girl did not travel during the incubation period, and her contacts at home were currently asymptomatic, the centre said, adding it was carrying out an investigation.

The spokesman said the girl had been vaccinated for the flu this season.

Mask sales rise as Hong Kong heads into flu season and Covid cases climb

The eight-year-old girl, who was unvaccinated, was infected with influenza A and began suffering from a fever and cough on Wednesday. She developed convulsions and was sent to hospital the following day, when she died.

According to centre data, the average consultation rate for flu-like illnesses among general outpatient clinics was 8.2 cases per 1,000 consultations, up from the 7.1 in the previous week.

Hong Kong recorded 36 flu-related deaths among adults between April 7 and 17.

Among current cases listed as severe, an eight-month-old baby developed encephalopathy and an eight-year-old boy was suffering from meningoencephalitis, a flu-induced medical complication, after both were infected with influenza A.

Hong Kong, global experts to work on longer-lasting flu vaccines, Post learns

The centre urged the public to get the seasonal flu vaccine to protect themselves.

“Influenza can cause serious illnesses in high-risk individuals and even healthy persons,” its spokesman said.

“[The vaccine] is one of the most effective means to prevent seasonal influenza and its complications, as well as reducing influenza-related hospitalisation and death.”

It was also crucial to get vaccinated against Covid-19 as people who caught the flu and coronavirus at the same time might be at a higher risk of death, the centre added.



Read More

Leave a Reply