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Public urged to be vigilant against upper respiratory tract infection

     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (March 14) called on the public to maintain strict personal and environmental hygiene to prevent upper respiratory tract infection (URI).

     The appeal followed the CHP's investigation into a URI outbreak in a residential care home for the disabled in Chai Wan involving 15 residents aged between 26 and 67 and eight staff members.

     Investigation revealed that the affected, comprising six males and 17 females, developed URI symptoms including fever, cough, runny nose or sore throat since March 1.

     Two residents have been admitted to Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital while one of them has been discharged. All the affected are in stable condition.

     The nasopharyngeal aspirate specimen of one hospitalised patient tested negative for influenza virus.

     Staff of the CHP had conducted site visit and provided health advice to the institution.

     To prevent upper respiratory tract infection and influenza, the public are advised to adopt the following measures:

* Build up good body immunity by having a proper diet, regular exercise and adequate rest, reducing stress and avoiding smoking;
* Maintain good personal hygiene, and wash hands after sneezing, coughing and wear a mask when developing symptoms of respiratory tract infections;
* Maintain good ventilation; and
* Avoid visiting crowded places with poor ventilation, especially during peak influenza season.

     Members of the public, particularly children, elderly people and those with chronic diseases, should wear face masks and consult their doctors for medical advice promptly if they develop symptoms of respiratory tract infection.

     For more information on the disease, people may visit the CHP's website (

Ends/Monday, March 14, 2011
Issued at HKT 18:24


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