A four-year-old boy is the latest and youngest critical case of swine flu, one of 246 new cases of the illness confirmed yesterday - a single-day record. Hong Kong's toll had passed 7,000 to reach 7,071, the Centre for Health Protection said.
The boy, who was in intensive care at Tuen Mun Hospital, developed flu symptoms on Friday. He visited the hospital's emergency room on Saturday and was admitted to its isolation ward, where he was prescribed Tamiflu and antibiotics.
His condition deteriorated and he is fighting for his life on a ventilator.
A Hospital Authority spokesman said the boy suffered from the chronic disease pulmonary arterial hypertension, meaning he had increased blood pressure in his lungs, causing shortness of breath.
Five other patients were in critical condition, four serious and 48 stable. A total of 58 were in hospital.
The previous severe cases involved patients aged between 23 and 76, with a median age of 46.5 years, the centre said. The boy was the youngest severe case so far.
The new cases yesterday were 131 males and 115 females. The youngest confirmed case was only nine months old, and the oldest 84. Four public medical staff were among them and were in stable condition.