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CHP investigates outbreak of upper respiratory tract infection at nursing home
     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (October 24) investigating an outbreak of upper respiratory tract infection (URI) at a nursing home in Sham Shui Po, and appealed to members of the public to stay alert and maintain strict personal and environmental hygiene.

     The outbreak involves 17 residents, comprising three men and 14 women aged 74 to 94, as well as three staff members, who have developed URI symptoms including fever, cough, sore throat and runny nose since October 18. All of the affected sought medical advice and five residents required hospitalisation. All patients are currently in stable condition.

     The respiratory specimen of one admitted resident tested positive for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

     Officers of the CHP have conducted a site visit and advised the nursing home to adopt necessary infection control measures against respiratory tract infections. The nursing home has been placed under medical surveillance.

     A CHP spokesman said RSV infection occurs throughout the year in Hong Kong. RSV may cause respiratory tract diseases such as infection of the airway, lungs and middle ear.

     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;
  • 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/Tuesday, October 24, 2017
Issued at HKT 20:15
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