CHP investigates outbreak of upper respiratory tract infection at residential care home for persons with disabilities

     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (September 21) investigating an outbreak of upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) at a residential care home for persons with disabilities (RCHD) in Tuen Mun, and appeals to members of the public and staff of institutions to stay alert and maintain strict personal and environmental hygiene.

     The outbreak involves nine male and seven female residents aged 39 to 64, and five staff members. They developed symptoms since September 8. All of the patients sought medical attention and two of them required hospitalisation. Two patients tested positive for respiratory syncytial virus upon laboratory testing. All are in stable condition.

     The CHP has provided preventive advice against URTI to the RCHD, such as advising the RCHD to arrange cleaning and disinfection, to open windows where appropriate for better ventilation and to separate affected residents from other residents, etc. The RCHD 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;
  • For high-risk persons (e.g. persons with underlying medical conditions or persons who are immunocompromised), 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/Thursday, September 21, 2023
Issued at HKT 18:30