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CHP investigates influenza A outbreak in a primary school in Central and Western District
       The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (March 7) investigating an influenza A outbreak in a primary school in Central and Western District, and again reminded the public to maintain strict personal and environmental hygiene against influenza.
       The outbreak involves 11 boys and eight girls aged 6 to 8, as well as one male staff member, who have developed fever, cough and sore throat since February 27. All patients have sought medical attention while one of them required hospitalisation. They are all in stable condition.
       The nasopharyngeal swab of one of the affected persons tested positive for influenza A (H3) virus.
       Officers of the CHP have conducted a site visit and advised the primary school to adopt necessary infection control measures against respiratory infections. The school has been put under medical surveillance.
       "If students or staff members develop fever, respiratory symptoms, diarrhoea, vomiting or skin rash, schools should strongly advise them not to return to campus and to promptly seek medical advice. Management of schools should observe precautions on campus, such as avoiding sharing of clothing or slippers, to prevent possible transmission of diseases," a spokesman for the CHP said.
      Schools are reminded to follow the Guidelines on Prevention of Communicable Diseases on preventive and control measures as well as management of outbreaks, which should be reported to the CHP for prompt follow-up.      
       The public should maintain good personal and environmental hygiene for protection against influenza and other 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;
  • When influenza is prevalent, avoid going to crowded or poorly ventilated public places; high-risk individuals may consider putting on surgical masks in such places; and
  • Maintain a balanced diet, exercise regularly, take adequate rest, do not smoke and avoid overstress.

       The public may visit the CHP's pages for more information: the influenza page, the weekly Flu Express report and the vaccination schemes page.
Ends/Tuesday, March 7, 2017
Issued at HKT 19:45
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