CHP investigates outbreaks of upper respiratory tract infection at residential child care centre and RCHD

     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (March 29) investigating two outbreaks of upper respiratory tract infection (URI) at a residential child care centre (CCC) in Causeway Bay and a residential care home for persons with disabilities (RCHD) in Tuen Mun, and appealed to members of the public to stay alert and maintain strict personal and environmental hygiene.

     The outbreak at the CCC involves 12 boys and eight girls aged 3 months to 3 years, who have developed URI symptoms including fever, cough and runny nose since March 13. All patients sought medical attention. Among them, six required hospitalisation and four were discharged upon management. One of the two patients remaining hospitalised is in serious condition and has been admitted to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit for further management. The other patients remain stable.

     The nasopharyngeal swab of two children tested positive for both adenovirus and enterovirus/rhinovirus, while other four tested positive for respiratory syncytial virus upon laboratory testing.

     The outbreak at the RCHD involves 15 residents (eight men and seven women) and five staff members (two men and three women) aged 18 to 63, who have developed URI symptoms including fever, cough, runny nose and sore throat since March 19. All patients sought medical attention and two required hospitalisation. All those affected are in stable condition.

     Officers of the CHP have conducted site visits to the institutions and advised staff members to adopt necessary infection control measures against respiratory tract infections. The institutions have been placed under medical surveillance.

     The public should maintain good personal and environmental hygiene 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 when staying in such places; and
  • Maintain a balanced diet, exercise regularly, take adequate rest, do not smoke and avoid overstress.

     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.

Ends/Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Issued at HKT 19:15