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CHP investigates outbreak of upper respiratory tract infection in RCHD

     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (January 7) investigating an outbreak of upper respiratory tract infection (URI) in a residential care home for persons with disabilities (RCHD) in Tin Shui Wai, and appealed to members of the public to stay alert and maintain strict personal and environmental hygiene.

     It involves four men and 16 women (five residents and 15 staff) aged 18 to 40 who have developed URI symptoms including fever, cough, runny nose and sore throat since December 16, 2015. All sought medical attention. Among them, a male resident aged 29 earlier hospitalised has been discharged. All affected persons are now in a stable condition.

     The nasopharyngeal swab of the hospitalised resident above tested positive for parainfluenza virus (PIV) type 3 upon laboratory testing by the CHP's Public Health Laboratory Services Branch.

     Officers of the CHP conducted a site visit to the institution and provided preventive advice against URI. The institution has been put under medical surveillance.

     PIV commonly causes respiratory infections, especially in young children, which usually manifests as a mild upper respiratory infection. However, it may sometimes cause more serious clinical conditions such as pneumonia, bronchitis and bronchiolitis, especially among the elderly and immunocompromised patients. PIV mainly spreads by contact with secretions of infected persons as well as contaminated objects and surfaces.

     To prevent URI and influenza, the public should take heed of the following advice:

* Build up good body immunity by having a proper diet, regular exercise and adequate rest, reducing stress and avoiding smoking;
* Maintain good personal and environmental hygiene and wash hands after sneezing, coughing and cleaning the nose. Wear a mask if symptoms of respiratory infections develop;
* Maintain good ventilation; and
* Avoid visiting crowded places with poor ventilation, especially during peak influenza seasons.

     Members of the public, particularly children, the elderly and those with chronic diseases, should wear a face mask and consult a doctor promptly if they develop symptoms of respiratory tract infection.

     The public can visit the CHP website ( for more information on URI.

Ends/Thursday, January 7, 2016
Issued at HKT 18:01


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