HONG KONG, Jan. 7 (Xinhua) -- Hong Kong's Center for Health Protection is investigating whether the A/H1N1 influenza vaccine contributed to a 58-year-old man falling ill with Guillain-Barre Syndrome, according to a Controller of the Center on Thursday.
The man received the inoculation on Dec. 24, 2009 and had weakness in his lower legs for a week before he was hospitalized on Jan. 2. He is in a serious, but not life-threatening, condition.
Controller of the center Thomas Tsang said the center's expert group has not yet found a clear association between the vaccine and the disease which is a rare neurological disorder causing paralysis and even respiratory difficulties.
Tsang said there have been 40 to 60 cases of Guillain-Barre Syndrome annually in Hong Kong, showing the disease existed before the A/H1N1 flu vaccination program.
He said the government's vaccination program will continue unless there is a surge in the number of Guillain-Barre Syndrome cases. He recommended people in high-risk groups get inoculated against the virus before the winter flu peak.
Expert group member Yuen Kwok-yung, professor of the University of Hong Kong's Department of Microbiology said more tests are being conducted to find whether other sources caused the patient's Guillain-Barre Syndrome symptoms. He recommended people with allergies to eggs not to have vaccinations.
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