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The Hong Kong Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health announced Saturday the investigation of a case of invasive Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) infection.

Image/Robert Herriman
Image/Robert Herriman

The patient is a one-year-old boy with good past health. He has presented with fever, shortness of breath and wheezing since May 8 and was admitted to Tuen Mun Hospital for treatment on May 10. The patient is now in stable condition.

His blood culture was tested positive for Hib upon laboratory testing. His clinical diagnoses was sepsis.

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The patient had no recent travel history and his home contacts remain asymptomatic. Investigations are ongoing.

Invasive Hib infection commonly presents clinically as infection of membranes covering the brain (meningitis), often accompanied by bacteria entering the bloodstream. It may also affect other parts of the body such as the lungs, the upper part of the throat (epiglottis), joints and bones. Prompt antibiotic treatment is necessary.

“Hib infection can be spread by contact with the nose or throat secretions of a patient. If persistent fever, unusual changes in behavior or other deteriorating conditions develop, or if in doubt, seek medical attention immediately,” a spokesman for the CHP said.

Members of the public are advised to observe personal hygiene and take heed of the preventive measures below:

  • Maintain hand hygiene and clean hands properly;
  • Wash hands when they are soiled with respiratory secretions, such as after sneezing or coughing;
  • Cover the nose and mouth while sneezing or coughing and dispose of nasal discharge and sputum properly;
  • Do not share eating and drinking utensils, and wash them thoroughly after use;
  • Avoid going to crowded places if not feeling well; and
  • An effective vaccine against Hib is available. For personal protection, seek advice from a health-care professional.