Hong Kong reports second death related to scarlet fever

08:52, June 22, 2011      

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A five-year-old Hong Kong boy diagnosed with scarlet fever died Tuesday, the second such case in the city this year, said Hong Kong's Center for Health Protection (CHP).

According to a release by the institution, the boy presented with fever from June 15. He was admitted to Princess Margaret Hospital on June 19 after sudden deterioration in his condition. The boy developed toxic shock syndrome and died Tuesday.

Parents of the boy said the child had consulted a general practitioner for chickenpox earlier. His clinical diagnosis was scarlet fever and toxic shock syndrome.

A laboratory test on his blood specimen revealed gram positive cocci. Further tests are being conducted by the hospital to confirm diagnosis.

The kindergarten that the boy attended, SA Tin Ka Ping Kindergarten in Sha Tin, had no other scarlet fever cases, but an ongoing chickenpox outbreak since May 4 has affected 11 other students aged between three and five. As a precautionary measure, the CHP advised the kindergarten to suspend classes for seven days starting June 22.

"The CHP paid a visit to the kindergarten and advised its staff to conduct thorough cleansing and disinfection in the campus," a spokesman for the CHP said.

The CHP said it will provide a daily update on the scarlet fever situation online starting from Tuesday and a new radio program on scarlet fever is expected to roll out next week to strengthen public education, the spokesman said.

According to information from the CHP, the total number of scarlet fever cases reported to the center this year reached 466 as of June 21 and a seven-year girl died of the disease in May, also the first scarlet fever-related death in Hong Kong in five years.

Source: Xinhua
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