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CHP investigates two outbreaks of upper respiratory tract infection
     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (May 10) investigating two outbreaks of upper respiratory tract infection (URTI), and appeals to members of the public and staff of institutions to stay alert and maintain strict personal and environmental hygiene.
     Details of the outbreaks are listed in the table below:
Type of school (District) Number of people affected and details of medical attention Earliest onset date Symptoms
Case 1:
Kindergarten (Wong Tai Sin District)
Nine boys and 15 girls (aged 4 to 6); 15 of them sought medical attention; all are in stable condition and none required hospitalisation May 7 Cough, runny nose, fever and sore throat
Case 2:
Kindergarten (Sham Shui Po District)
13 boys and nine girls (aged 3 to 5); 20 of them sought medical attention and one required hospitalisation and was discharged; all are in stable condition April 20 Cough, runny nose, fever and sore throat
     Officers of the CHP have advised the kindergartens to adopt necessary infection control measures against respiratory infections. The kindergartens have been put under medical surveillance. In addition, since the symptoms of URTI are similar to those of COVID-19, for prudence's sake, the above kindergarten of case 1 and the kindergarten of case 2 are covered in the compulsory testing notice (CTN) on May 10 and April 22 respectively, to exclude the possibility of COVID-19 infection. The kindergartens were required to suspend teaching activities for at least five days for cleaning and executing the CTN.

     The public should maintain good personal and environmental hygiene against influenza and other respiratory illnesses and note the following:
  • Receive a seasonal influenza vaccination for personal protection;
  • Surgical masks can prevent transmission of respiratory viruses from ill persons. It is essential for persons who are symptomatic (even if having mild symptoms) to wear a surgical mask;
  • Wear a surgical mask when taking public transport or staying in crowded places. It is important to wear a mask properly, including performing hand hygiene before wearing and after removing a mask;
  • Avoid touching one's eyes, mouth and nose;
  • 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 with tissue paper when sneezing or coughing. Dispose of soiled tissue paper properly into a lidded rubbish bin, and wash hands thoroughly afterwards; 
  • Maintain good indoor ventilation;
  • When having respiratory symptoms, wear a surgical mask, refrain from work or attending class at school, avoid going to crowded places and seek medical advice promptly; 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, May 10, 2021
Issued at HKT 19:00
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