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Monday, February 20, 2012

Hong Kong : Suspected case of paediatric scarlet fever investigated

Press release from Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection :

" 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."

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