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CHP investigates outbreak of upper respiratory tract infection at residential child care centre in Causeway Bay
     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (November 28) investigating an outbreak of upper respiratory tract infection (URI) at a residential child care centre in Causeway Bay, and appealed to members of the public and staff of institutions to stay alert and maintain strict personal and environmental hygiene.

     The outbreak affected 11 boys and nine girls aged 5 months to 3, who have developed URI symptoms including fever, cough and runny nose since October 25. All of them sought medical attention. Among them, five required hospitalisation and were discharged following treatment. All patients are now in stable condition.
     The nasopharyngeal swabs of the five hospitalised patients tested positive for adenovirus upon laboratory testing.

     Officers of the CHP have conducted a site visit and advised the child care centre to adopt necessary infection control measures against respiratory tract infections. The centre has been placed under medical surveillance.
     Adenoviruses are a group of viruses which infect the mucous membranes. Depending on the type of virus, they may cause respiratory illnesses, but also diarrhoea, eye infections and rashes. Infections can occur all year round. Young children, the elderly and immunocompromised patients are more susceptible.
     "The infection mainly spreads through air droplets, direct contact of the oro-nasal secretions of patients, or ingestion of contaminated food or water, and may cause outbreaks of acute respiratory or eye infections in institutional settings such as schools and hospitals," a spokesman for the CHP said.
     To prevent adenovirus infection, the public should take heed of the measures below:
  • Maintain good personal and environmental hygiene;
  • Perform hand hygiene frequently, especially before touching the mouth, nose or eyes, after touching public installations such as handrails or door knobs or when hands are contaminated by respiratory secretions after coughing or sneezing. Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, then dry with a disposable paper towel or hand dryer. When hands are not visibly soiled, clean them with 70-80 per cent alcohol-based handrub as an effective alternative;
  • Wear gloves and a surgical mask while disposing of or handling vomitus and faeces, and wash hands thoroughly afterwards;
  • Cover your mouth and nose with tissue paper when sneezing or coughing. Dispose of the soiled tissue in a lidded rubbish bin, then wash hands thoroughly;
  • When having respiratory symptoms, wear a surgical mask, refrain from going to work or school, avoid going to crowded places and seek medical advice promptly;
  • Avoid sharing eye medicines, eye make-up and other items that may come into contact with the eyes;
  • Maintain a balanced diet, exercise regularly, take adequate rest, do not smoke and avoid alcohol consumption;
  • Regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as furniture, toys and commonly shared items with 1:99 diluted household bleach (mixing one part of 5.25 per cent bleach with 99 parts of water), leave for 15 to 30 minutes, and then rinse with water and keep dry. For metallic surfaces, disinfect with 70 per cent alcohol;
  • Use absorbent disposable towels to wipe away obvious contaminants such as respiratory secretions, and then disinfect the surface and neighbouring areas with 1:49 diluted household bleach (mixing one part of 5.25 per cent bleach with 49 parts of water), leave for 15 to 30 minutes and then rinse with water and keep dry. For metallic surfaces, disinfect with 70 per cent alcohol;
  • Maintain good indoor ventilation. Avoid going to crowded or poorly ventilated public places; high-risk individuals may consider putting on surgical masks while in such places; and
  • Children developing symptoms of infection should refrain from going to school and seek medical advice.

     The public may visit the CHP's page on adenovirus infection for more information.
Ends/Wednesday, November 28, 2018
Issued at HKT 18:57
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