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Rotavirus outbreak in elderly home under close watch

     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health reminded people and the management of institutions to strictly observe environmental and personal hygiene to prevent acute gastroenteritis following its investigation into a rotavirus gastroenteritis outbreak involving six males and 14 females at an elderly home in Wan Chai.

     The affected were 18 residents aged between 67 and 96 and two staff members. They developed symptoms of acute gastroenteritis including diarrhoea, vomiting and fever since January 17.

     Eight of the residents sought medical consultation and seven others were admitted to Ruttonjee Hospital. All those affected are in stable condition.

     The stool samples of three admitted residents tested positive for rotavirus.

     Officers of the CHP have visited the institution and provided health advice to staff on proper disinfection, disposal of vomitus and faecal matter, as well as personal and food hygiene.

     The CHP will closely monitor the institution and provide further advice if necessary.

     To prevent the spread of viral gastroenteritis, the public should take the following precautions:

* wash hands thoroughly before handling food and eating and after using the toilet or handling vomitus or faecal matter;
* wear gloves when disposing of vomitus or faeces; and wash hands afterwards;
* clean and disinfect contaminated areas or items promptly and thoroughly with household bleach diluted at a ratio of 1:50 (by adding one part of household bleach to 49 parts of water);
* maintain good indoor ventilation;
* make sure that food, particularly seafood and shellfish, is cooked thoroughly.

Ends/Thursday, January 27, 2011
Issued at HKT 17:25


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