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CHP investigates outbreak of upper respiratory tract infection at residential home

     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (April 5) investigating an outbreak of upper respiratory tract infection (URI) at a residential care home for the elderly (RCHE) in Tai Hang affecting 27 residents and six staff members, and appealed to members of the public to stay alert and maintain strict personal and environmental hygiene.

     The 27 affected residents, all women aged from 75 to 100, have developed URI symptoms including fever, cough, runny nose and sore throat since March 23. All affected residents sought medical attention and seven of them required hospitalisation. They are currently in a stable condition.

     The respiratory specimens of two admitted residents tested positive for human metapneumovirus (hMPV).

     A CHP spokesman said hMPV can cause acute respiratory tract infections in all ages.

      "Persons with hMPV infection can present with symptoms of varying severity, such as fever, cough, difficulty in breathing or shortness of breath. Some children may also present with otitis media, diarrhoea, vomiting, rash and febrile convulsion. In adults, hMPV usually causes mild disease characterised by cough, hoarseness, runny nose and sputum production," the spokesman said.

     Officers of the CHP have inspected the RCHE and provided health advice against URI. The RCHE has been placed under medical surveillance.

     The public should maintain good personal and environmental hygiene against respiratory illnesses:
* Receive seasonal influenza vaccination for personal protection;
* Wash hands with liquid soap and water properly whenever possibly contaminated;
* When hands are not visibly soiled, clean them with 70 to 80 per cent alcohol-based handrub;
* Cover the nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing, and wash hands thoroughly afterwards;
* Dispose of soiled tissue paper properly in a lidded rubbish bin;
* Put on a surgical mask when respiratory symptoms develop;
* Maintain good indoor ventilation;
* High-risk individuals may consider putting on surgical masks when staying in crowded or poorly ventilated public places; and
* Maintain a balanced diet, exercise regularly, take adequate rest, do not smoke and avoid overstress.

     The public may visit the CHP's page below for more information on hMPV:

Ends/Tuesday, April 5, 2016
Issued at HKT 18:00


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