CHP investigates parainfluenza outbreak at residential care home for the elderly in Wong Tai Sin

     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (January 22) investigating an outbreak of parainfluenza at a residential care home for the elderly (RCHE) in Wong Tai Sin, and appealed to members of the public to stay alert and maintain strict personal and environmental hygiene.
     The outbreak involves 18 female residents aged from 71 to 107, as well as three female staff members aged from 40 to 56, who have developed upper respiratory tract infection (URI) symptoms including fever, cough, sore throat and runny nose since December 30 last year.
     All patients sought medical attention. Among them, seven required hospitalisation and four have been discharged upon management. All patients have been in a stable condition.
     The respiratory specimens collected from six affected residents tested positive for parainfluenza virus (PIV) type 3 upon laboratory testing.
     Officers of the CHP inspected the RCHE and provided health advice against URI. The RCHE has been placed under medical surveillance.
     A spokesman for the CHP added that PIV commonly causes respiratory infections, especially in young children, which usually manifests as a mild upper respiratory infection. However, it may sometimes cause more serious clinical conditions such as pneumonia, bronchitis and bronchiolitis, especially among the elderly and immunocompromised patients. PIV mainly spreads by contact with secretions of infected persons as well as contaminated objects and surfaces.
     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/Monday, January 22, 2018
Issued at HKT 16:48