CHP investigates outbreak of upper respiratory tract infection at special school

     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (February 14) investigating an outbreak of upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) at a special school in Southern District, and appeals to members of the public and staff of institutions to stay alert and maintain strict personal and environmental hygiene.

     The outbreak involves 19 students, comprising 15 males and four females aged 6 to 20, and four staff members. They developed symptoms since February 6. Eight of them sought medical attention, all are in stable condition and none required hospitalisation. Three of them tested positive for rhinovirus/enterovirus upon laboratory testing. Their COVID-19 rapid antigen test results were negative.

     The CHP has provided preventive advice against URTI to the school, such as advising the school to arrange cleaning and disinfection, to open windows where appropriate for better ventilation and to separate affected students from other students, etc. The school has been placed under medical surveillance.

     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 consult a doctor promptly if they develop symptoms of respiratory tract infection.

Ends/Tuesday, February 14, 2023
Issued at HKT 18:00