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Sponsored Lunch Symposium

Influenza and COVID-19 Management at Primary Care

Dr Andrew TY Wong
Consultant, Infectious Disease Unit,
Department of Medicine,
Union Hospital

Dr Andrew TY Wong is an infectious disease specialist and had battled with SARS as a frontline doctor in Princess Margaret Hospital. He was the consultant in charge of infection control and infectious disease management of HA and CHP before going to private practice in 2019. He maintains his clinical practice in infectious disease throughout his professional career and his interests include antimicrobial therapeutics, travel medicine, HIV and sexual health including Human Papillomavirus (HPV) related anal pre-cancer screening.

He is the Honorary Infectious Disease consultant of Infectious Disease Centre of Princess Margaret Hospital and several private hospitals.

He was the Immediate Past President of Hong Kong Society for Infectious Diseases.

Abstract
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, there has been a diagnostic challenge to differentiate patients who contracted the SARS-CoV-2 virus from those with influenza or common cold, owing to the similar clinical presentations such as fever, cough, shortness of breath etc. RNA testing is necessary to confirm the diagnosis. Despite the testing capacity of COVID-19 for public has been increased, the logistics are not as straightforward and could take days to obtain the result. This poses risks of treatment delay and spread of the virus in the community. Thus, a rapid, easy to use Point-of-Care (POC) RT-PCR system (i.e. cobas Liat) could play a significant role to control the transmission.

On top of the above, in anticipation of the winter influenza surge, a comprehensive strategy for influenza management needs to be built under COVID-19. While cobas Liat could help with timely and accurate diagnosis, the novel antiviral treatment, Baloxavir marboxil (BXM) well complements the follow up management for the patient. BXM is a selective inhibitor of influenza cap-dependent endonuclease, which is an essential enzyme for viral replication. The drug has already been approved in HK based on its solid evidence. Phase III studies support single-dose BXM is an effective and safe therapy for influenza A and B in adults and adolescents who are otherwise-healthy patients and at high risk of influenza complications. Recently, BXM was further examined in children of 1–<12 years old with uncomplicated acute influenza, where positive result is demonstrated as well.

In this talk, the extended use of cobas Liat system will be discussed, together with the latest evidence on Baloxavir marboxil and its clinical experience sharing.

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