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CHP investigates outbreak of upper respiratory tract infection at residential child care centre
     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (August 16) investigating an outbreak of upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) 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 involves 20 pupils, comprising 14 boys and six girls between five and 35 months old. They developed cough, runny nose, sore throat and fever since July 2. All of them were seen by a visiting medical officer. 13 of them required hospitalisation and 12 of which had been discharged. All the affected pupils are now in stable condition.

     Officers of the CHP have advised the institution to adopt necessary infection control measures against respiratory infections and arrange cleaning and disinfection. The institution 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 CHP had provided the institution with stool specimen bottles and deep throat saliva specimen collection packs direct and all had been tested negative to COVID-19.

     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 classes 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, August 16, 2021
Issued at HKT 19:45
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