Death of girl, 7, is third from mystery illness

2008.08.23 – South China Morning Post

A seven-year-old girl with a mystery illness died yesterday after she was admitted to hospital this month, the Centre for Health Protection said.
She was the third child to die in two weeks as health officials were still trying to find out whether the string of deaths was caused by a single organism or different viruses.

The girl was sent to Princess of Wales Hospital on August 8 with fever and convulsions, the centre said. She then developed symptoms of encephalitis and her condition had been serious since then.

A three-year old boy, also suffering from an unknown viral infection, was still in intensive care at Kwong Wah Hospital last night.

His condition was upgraded to serious from critical on Thursday night and he had been in the Yau Ma Tei hospital since Tuesday.

He was feverish and vomiting when he was admitted to hospital, and suffered convulsions and went into a coma.

The Mong Kok boy had no travel history and was not attending kindergarten when he fell ill.

A nine-year-old Sha Tin girl died on August 13, three hours after being admitted to admitted to Prince of Wales Hospital with symptoms of myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart caused by viral infection.

A three-year-old Sham Shui Po girl who was admitted to Kwong Wah Hospital at 8pm on August 10 died the next day at 2pm. She was feverish and vomiting.

A centre spokesman said while it was investigating the causes of the deaths, the seven-year-old girl’s case would be referred to the Coroner’s Court.

The centre has been monitoring the recent mystery illnesses under the paediatric surveillance programme launched in March.