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CHP investigates outbreak of upper respiratory tract infection in kindergarten

     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (December 10) investigating an outbreak of upper respiratory tract infection (URI) in a kindergarten in Tuen Mun, and hence appealed to members of the public to stay alert and maintain strict personal and environmental hygiene.

     The outbreak involves 20 pupils, 14 boys and six girls aged from 2 to 5, who have developed URI symptoms including fever, cough, runny nose and sore throat since November 21. Seventeen consulted private doctors while three of them were hospitalised for further management and have been discharged.

     The nasopharyngeal swabs of those three pupils tested positive for adenovirus upon testing by a private hospital. All affected pupils are now in stable condition.

     Officers of the CHP inspected the kindergarten and provided preventive advice against URI. The kindergarten has been placed under medical surveillance.

     Adenoviruses are a group of viruses which infect the mucus membranes. Depending on the type of virus, they may cause respiratory illnesses, but also diarrhoea, eye infections and rashes. Infections can occur all year round. Young children, the elderly and immunocompromised patients are more susceptible.

     "The infection mainly spreads through air droplets, direct contact of the oro-nasal secretions of patients, or ingestion of contaminated food or water, and may cause outbreaks of acute respiratory or eye infections in institutional settings such as schools and hospitals," a spokesman for the CHP said.

     To prevent adenovirus infections, the public should take heed of the measures below:

* Maintain good personal and environmental hygiene;
* Build up good body immunity by having a balanced diet, regular exercise and adequate rest, reducing stress and avoiding smoking;
* Cover the nose and mouth while sneezing or coughing and dispose of nasal and oral discharge properly;
* Wash hands thoroughly before handling food and eating, and after going to the toilet or handling vomitus, faecal matter and oro-nasal secretions;
* Wear gloves while disposing of vomitus, faeces and diapers, and wash hands afterwards;
* Clean and disinfect contaminated articles and surfaces promptly and thoroughly with 1:49 diluted household bleach (1 part of household bleach in 49 parts of water);
* Avoid touching the eyes with hands;
* Do not share towels and toilet articles;
* Avoid sharing eye medicines, eye make-up and other items that may come into contact with the eyes;
* Avoid crowded places where ventilation is unsatisfactory; and
* Children developing symptoms of infection should refrain from going to school and seek medical advice.

     The public may visit the CHP's page on adenovirus infection ( for more information.

Ends/Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Issued at HKT 17:06


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