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Hong Kong - Case of paediatric scarlet fever-also has flu

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  • Hong Kong - Case of paediatric scarlet fever-also has flu

    The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (February 20) investigating a suspected case of scarlet fever complicated with toxic shock syndrome involving an 8-year-old boy.

    The boy, with good past health, presented with fever and a sore throat on February 14. He developed a skin rash over the neck since February 16 and sought medical consultation from a general practitioner on February 15, 17 and 18. He was referred to the Accident and Emergency Department of Kwong Wah Hospital on February 18 and was admitted to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit for further management on the same day.

    Pneumonia and shock was noted on his admission. The preliminary result of his blood culture taken on admission yielded gram positive cocci. His nasopharyngeal specimen was tested positive for influenza B. His current condition is critical.

    The CHP's investigation revealed that the boy did not have a recent travel history. He lives with his parents. His mother had fever and runny nose on February 10 and has recovered already.

    Investigation continues.

    A CHP spokesman explained that scarlet fever is caused by Group A Streptococcus bacteria and can be cured by appropriate antibiotics. The disease usually affects children between 2 to 8 years of age and presents as fever, sore throat and rash. The rash appears over the trunk and neck and spreads to the limbs, especially the armpits, elbows and groin. The illness is usually clinically mild but can be complicated by shock, heart and kidney diseases.

    "Scarlet fever is transmitted through either the respiratory route or direct contact with infected respiratory secretions," he said.

    People who are suspected to have scarlet fever should consult their doctors.

    To prevent infection, members of the public are advised to:

    * maintain good personal and environmental hygiene;
    * keep hands clean and wash hands properly;
    * wash hands when they are dirtied by respiratory secretions, e.g. after sneezing;
    * cover nose and mouth while sneezing or coughing and dispose of nasal and mouth discharge properly; and
    * maintain good ventilation.

    Ends/Monday, February 20, 2012
    Issued at HKT 19:32

  • #2
    Re: Hong Kong - Suspected case of paediatric scarlet fever investigated


    Flu-jabs plea to parents with boy, 8, critical
    Alice So
    Wednesday, February 22, 2012

    An eight-year-old boy remains in critical condition after coming down with influenza and scarlet fever, the Centre for Health Protection said last night.

    Center controller Thomas Tsang Ho-fai said the immunity system of the boy was weakened after he was infected with the influenza B strain, making him more susceptible to other viruses.

    Tsang said there have been seven serious flu cases in children, aged 12 or below, since the middle of last month, and he urges parents to get their youngsters inoculated.

    The boy, who previously had a history of good health, complained of a fever and sore throat last Tuesday and developed a rash on his neck by Thursday.


    After seeing a local doctor, he was taken to Kwong Wah Hospital on Saturday and admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit.

    His condition was further complicated when the scarlet fever led to toxic shock syndrome...