CHP investigates outbreak of norovirus gastroenteritis in play facility

     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (October 18) investigating an outbreak of norovirus gastroenteritis in a play facility in Kwun Tong, and hence appealed to the public and management of play facilities to maintain strict personal and environmental hygiene.

     The 21 patients, comprising 10 children (four boys and six girls, aged 1 to 13) and 11 adults (five men and six women, aged 29 to 40), have developed vomiting and diarrhoea since October 13 to 18. Among them, 14 sought medical attention while one of the children has been discharged after hospitalisation. All patients have remained in stable condition.

     The stool specimen of the hospitalised child tested positive for norovirus upon laboratory testing. Investigations are ongoing.

     Initial enquiries revealed that all patients had attended a party in the premises on October 14, including one child with mild symptoms before the party. The CHP's officers have conducted a site visit and provided health advice to the management on proper disinfection and disposal of vomitus as well as personal and environmental hygiene. The facility has been put under medical surveillance.

     "Parents should pay special attention to their children's hygiene when they attend play facilities or have close contact with other children. Sick children should refrain from going to school or mass gatherings and seek medical advice immediately," a spokesman for the CHP said.

     "Management of these venues should observe our Public Health Advice for Play Facilities on appropriate infection control in activities involving young children as well as guidance notes on disinfection of areas contaminated by vomitus or faecal spillage from patients in our norovirus infection page," the spokesman said.

     Apart from food and water sources, norovirus infection can also be transmitted by contact with vomitus or faeces from infected persons, contact with contaminated objects or aerosol spread with contaminated droplets of splashed vomitus.

     The public should take heed of personal and environmental hygiene to prevent norovirus infection:
  • Wash hands thoroughly with liquid soap and water before handling food or eating, and after using the toilet or handling vomitus or faecal matter;
  • Refrain from work or going to school, and seek medical advice if suffering from fever, vomiting or diarrhoea;
  • Exclude infected persons from handling food and from providing care to children, the elderly and immunocompromised people;
  • Maintain good indoor ventilation;
  • Clean up vomitus or faeces and disinfect the contaminated areas properly and immediately. Keep other people away from the contaminated areas during cleaning;
  • Wear gloves and a surgical mask while disposing of or handling vomitus and faeces, and wash hands thoroughly afterwards;
  • Maintain proper sanitary facilities and drainage systems; and
  • Clean and disinfect toilets used by an infected person and the soiled areas.

Ends/Wednesday, October 18, 2017
Issued at HKT 19:00