The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) is today (November 4) investigating a confirmed case of Japanese encephalitis (JE) affecting a 5-year-old boy and hence urged the public to take precautions against mosquito-transmitted diseases.
The patient, with good past health, has developed fever and shortness of breath since October 25. He sought medical consultation from a private practitioner on October 26 and was admitted to a private hospital for high fever and convulsion on October 29. He was transferred to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit of Queen Mary Hospital on November 1 for further management. The patient is currently in serious condition.
His cerebrospinal fluid sample tested positive for antibodies against JE, a viral disease transmitted by the bite of infective mosquitoes, upon laboratory testing by the Public Health Laboratory Services Branch of the CHP.
Initial enquiries by the CHP revealed that the patient had travelled to Tokyo, Japan, between October 11 and 14. His travel collaterals and home contacts have remained asymptomatic so far. The CHP's investigation is proceeding.
Apart from the above case, to date, four JE cases (two local and two imported) have been reported to the CHP this year. Three cases (two imported and one local) were reported in 2012 while one (a local case) was reported in 2011. Locally, no cases were reported from 2008 to 2010.