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CHP investigates influenza-like illness outbreak at secondary school in Eastern District
     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (January 23) investigating an outbreak of influenza-like illness at a secondary school in Eastern District, and again reminded the public to maintain strict personal and environmental hygiene against influenza.
     The outbreak involves 14 male and seven female students aged 12 to 14 who developed cough, sore throat and fever since January 12. Among them, 11 sought medical attention but none required hospitalisation.
     The nasopharyngeal swab of a student tested positive for influenza B virus. All of them are now in a stable condition.
     Officers of the CHP have conducted a site visit and advised the secondary 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.
     "Hong Kong has entered the 2017-18 winter influenza season. We anticipate that local seasonal influenza activity will continue to rise in the coming weeks and remain at an elevated level for some time. Members of the public should maintain good personal protection against influenza," a spokesman for the CHP said.
     "Particularly, children, the elderly and those with underlying illnesses are urged to get vaccinated as early as possible to prevent seasonal influenza as it takes about two weeks for antibodies to develop in the body after vaccination. They should promptly seek medical advice if influenza-like symptoms develop so that appropriate treatment can be initiated as early as possible to prevent potential complications. Parents and carers are reminded to render assistance in personal protection and prevention measures for vulnerable people," the spokesman added.
     The public can visit the CHP's influenza page, weekly Flu Express report and vaccination schemes page for more information on influenza and other respiratory illnesses.
Ends/Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Issued at HKT 19:10
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