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CHP investigates influenza A outbreak at primary school in Southern District
     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (December 4) investigating an influenza A outbreak at a primary school in Southern District, and again reminded the public to maintain strict personal and environmental hygiene against influenza.
     The outbreak involves nine boys and nine girls aged 5 to 8, as well as three female staff members, who developed cough, sore throat and fever since November 22. All of them sought medical attention. Among them, one student required hospitalisation and was discharged following treatment. All patients are now in a stable condition.
     The respiratory specimens of eight students and three staff members tested positive for influenza A virus. 

     Officers of the CHP have conducted a site visit and advised the school to adopt necessary infection control measures against respiratory infections. The school has been put under medical surveillance.
     A spokesman for the CHP said, "To prevent outbreaks of influenza and other respiratory infections, it is of prime importance that children with fever, regardless of the presence of respiratory symptoms, should not be allowed to attend school. They should seek medical advice and avoid school till 48 hours after the fever has subsided. Schools should also measure and record students' body temperature properly."

     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.

      "Influenza can cause serious illnesses in high-risk individuals and even healthy persons. Given that influenza vaccines are safe and effective, all persons aged 6 months or above, except those with known contraindications, are recommended to receive Seasonal Influenza Vaccine(SIV) for personal protection," the spokesman said.
     As it is already December and Hong Kong will soon enter the winter influenza season, eligible persons are urged to receive SIV early for protection against seasonal influenza as it takes about two weeks to develop antibodies. Vaccination among family members is key to protecting their personal and family's health."
     Besides receiving seasonal influenza vaccine for personal protection, the public should maintain good personal and environmental hygiene for protection against influenza and other respiratory illnesses. For more information, please visit the CHP's influenza page and weekly Flu Express.
Ends/Tuesday, December 4, 2018
Issued at HKT 18:25
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