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CHP investigates outbreak of upper respiratory tract infection at kindergarten
     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (May 18) investigating an outbreak of upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) at a kindergarten in Sha Tin, and appeals to members of the public and staff of institutions to stay alert and maintain strict personal and environmental hygiene.

     The outbreak involves 10 boys and 10 girls aged 3 to 5. They developed cough, runny nose, sore throat and fever since April 29. Ten of them sought medical attention and none required hospitalisation. All of them are now in a stable condition.

     Officers of the CHP have advised the kindergarten to adopt necessary infection control measures against respiratory infections. The kindergarten has been put under medical surveillance. In addition, since the symptoms of URTI are similar to those of COVID-19, for prudence's sake, the kindergarten is covered in the compulsory testing notice (CTN) on May 4 to exclude the possibility of COVID-19 infection. The kindergarten was 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 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/Tuesday, May 18, 2021
Issued at HKT 19:15
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