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CHP investigates influenza A outbreak in elderly home in To Kwa Wan
     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (July 21) investigating an influenza A outbreak at a residential care home for the elderly (RCHE) in To Kwa Wan, and again reminded the public to maintain strict personal and environmental hygiene against influenza.

     "The local seasonal influenza activity remains at a very high level and it is expected to remain very active in the coming weeks. We strongly urge the public, particularly children, the elderly and chronic disease patients, to adopt strict personal, hand and environmental hygiene both locally and during travel in the summer," a spokesman for the CHP said.

     The outbreak involves 21 residents, 11 men and 10 women aged 59 to 93. They have developed fever, cough, sore throat and runny nose since July 17. All sought medical attention and two of them required hospitalisation. They are all in a stable condition.

     The respiratory specimens of all affected residents tested positive for influenza A virus upon laboratory testing.

     Officers of the CHP have conducted a site visit and advised the RCHE to adopt necessary infection control measures against respiratory infections. The RCHE has been put under medical surveillance.

     RCHEs are reminded to follow the Guidelines on Prevention of Communicable Diseases on preventive and control measures as well as management of outbreaks, which should be reported to the CHP for prompt follow-up.  

     The public should maintain good personal and environmental hygiene for protection against influenza and other respiratory illnesses:
  • Receive seasonal influenza vaccination for personal protection;
  • Wash hands with liquid soap and water properly whenever possibly contaminated;
  • When hands are not visibly soiled, clean them with 70 to 80 per cent alcohol-based handrub;
  • Cover the nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing, and wash hands thoroughly afterwards;
  • Dispose of soiled tissue paper properly in a lidded rubbish bin;
  • Put on a surgical mask when respiratory symptoms develop;
  • Maintain good indoor ventilation;
  • When influenza is prevalent, avoid going to crowded or poorly ventilated public places; high-risk individuals may consider putting on surgical masks in such places; and
  • Maintain a balanced diet, exercise regularly, take adequate rest, do not smoke and avoid overstress.

     The public may visit the CHP's pages for more information: the influenza page, the weekly Flu Express report and the vaccination schemes page.
Ends/Friday, July 21, 2017
Issued at HKT 17:30
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