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CHP investigates outbreak of upper respiratory tract infection and influenza B outbreak
     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (June 25) investigating an outbreak of upper respiratory tract infection (URI) at a residential child care centre in Causeway Bay, as well as an influenza B outbreak at a kindergarten in Yuen Long, and reminded members of the public who have not yet received seasonal influenza vaccination in the 2018-19 season that they can still receive it for personal protection against seasonal influenza.

     The URI outbreak affected 11 boys and 10 girls, aged 2 months to 34 months, who have developed fever, cough and runny nose since June 16. All of them sought medical attention. Among them, six required hospitalisation and four of them were discharged following treatment. All patients have been in a stable condition. The respiratory specimens of five children admitted to hospital tested positive for parainfluenza virus type 1 upon laboratory testing.
     The influenza B outbreak involves 12 boys and 10 girls, aged 3 to 6, who have developed fever, cough, runny nose and sore throat since June 11. Among them, 20 sought medical attention and none required hospitalisation. All are in a stable condition. The respiratory specimen of one child tested positive for influenza B upon laboratory testing.

     Officers of the CHP have conducted site visits to the two institutions and advised them to adopt necessary infection control measures against respiratory tract infections. The institutions have been placed under medical surveillance.
     A spokesman for the CHP said, "To prevent outbreaks of influenza and other respiratory infections, it is of prime importance that students 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.

     "The latest surveillance data showed that the local seasonal influenza activity in the past few weeks was higher than that in early May. Members of the public aged 6 months or above (except those with known contraindications) who have not yet received seasonal influenza vaccination in the 2018-19 season can still receive it for personal protection against seasonal influenza," the spokesman added.

     Besides receiving seasonal influenza vaccination, the public should also maintain good personal and environmental hygiene against influenza and other respiratory illnesses:
  • 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, June 25, 2019
Issued at HKT 18:50
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