Hong Kong investigates case of severe pediatric influenza B

The Hong Kong Centre for Health Protection announced on Saturday that it is investigating a case of severe pediatric influenza B infection complicated by invasive pneumococcal disease in a two-year-old girl.

The patient presented with cough, runny nose and fever to the Hong Kong Baptist Hospital on December 23. She was later transferred to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital's pediatric intensive care unit.

The girl was clinically diagnosed with pneumonia with empyema and pneumothorax and was in serious condition as of Saturday. The patient's blood culture tested positive for Streptococcus pneumoniae and her nasopharyngeal aspirate tested positive for influenza B.

The CHP investigated the case and found the girl was immunized with 10-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine and the 13-valent PCV booster. She had no recent travel history. The girl's older brother developed upper respiratory symptoms on December 19 and subsequently recovered.

A spokesperson for the CHP urged members of the public to take precautionary measures to prevent respiratory tract infections. Some measures include building up strong body immunity through regular exercise, proper diet and adequate rest, refraining from smoking, maintaining good personal hygiene, maintaining good ventilation, avoiding crowded places with poor ventilation, receiving seasonal influenza vaccination and wearing a mask when respiratory tract infection symptoms develop.