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CHP investigates outbreak of norovirus gastroenteritis in kindergarten cum child care centre

     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) is today (September 23) investigating an outbreak of norovirus gastroenteritis in a kindergarten cum child care centre in Ma On Shan affecting 18 pupils and four staff members, and hence appealed to the public and management of institutions to maintain personal and environmental hygiene against gastroenteritis.

     The affected persons, 15 males and seven females aged between 2 and 47, have presented with vomiting, diarrhoea and fever since September 16. All of them sought medical consultation and two required hospitalisation. All of the affected persons are now in stable condition.

     The stool specimens of two hospitalised patients tested positive for norovirus. Investigations are continuing.

     Officers of the CHP have conducted a site visit and provided health advice to the staff of the school concerning proper disinfection, disposal of vomitus, and personal and environmental hygiene. The school has been put under medical surveillance.

     A CHP spokesman said norovirus infection could be transmitted via contaminated food or water, contact with vomitus or faeces or any objects contaminated by the virus.

     "Proper disposal of vomitus and faecal matter and adequate disinfection of the environment are very important in preventing and controlling the spread of the disease," the spokesman said.

     The spokesman advised members of the public to take heed of the following preventive measures against viral gastroenteritis:

* Maintain high standards of personal, food and environmental hygiene;
* Wash hands with liquid soap and water before handling food and eating, after going to the toilet and after changing diapers;
* Carefully wash fruits and vegetables before preparing and eating them;
* Cook all food, particularly shellfish, thoroughly before consumption;
* Refrain from going to work or school, and seek medical advice if one is suffering from vomiting or diarrhoea;
* Clean up vomitus and faeces and disinfect the contaminated areas properly and immediately. Keep other people away from the contaminated areas during cleaning;
* Wear gloves and a mask while disposing of or handling vomitus and faeces, and wash hands thoroughly afterwards; and
* Clean and disinfect soiled linens, clothes and environmental surfaces promptly and thoroughly with 1 in 49 diluted household bleach (mixing one part of household bleach containing 5.25 per cent sodium hypochlorite in 49 parts of water). Wash hands thoroughly afterwards.

     The public may visit the CHP's website ( or call the DH's Health Education Hotline (2833 0111) for more information on gastroenteritis.

Ends/Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Issued at HKT 18:01


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