CHP investigates outbreak of adenovirus upper respiratory tract infection at kindergarten in Kowloon City

     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (October 20) investigating an outbreak of adenovirus upper respiratory tract infection at a kindergarten in Kowloon City, and appealed to members of the public to stay alert and maintain strict personal and environmental hygiene.

     The outbreak involves 21 pupils, 14 boys and seven girls aged from 3 to 6, who have developed upper respiratory tract infection (URI) symptoms including fever, cough and sore throat since September 2. Among them, 18 sought medical consultation and three of them have been discharged upon hospitalisation.

     The respiratory specimens of four affected pupils tested positive for adenovirus upon laboratory testing by relevant hospitals. All the affected pupils are in a stable condition.

     Officers of the CHP conducted a site visit to 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 mucous 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 infection, 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 (one 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/Thursday, October 20, 2016
Issued at HKT 16:00