Hong Kong: Outbreak of Upper Respiratory Tract Infection

Centre for Health Protection (CHP) investigates an outbreak of upper respiratory tract infection at a nursery in Tin Shui Wai.

TIN SHUI WAI, HONG KONG (STL.News) The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (December 2) investigating an outbreak of upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) at a nursery in Tin Shui Wai, and appeals to members of the public and staff of institutions to stay alert and maintain strict personal and environmental hygiene.

The outbreak involves 30 pupils, comprising 18 boys and 12 girls between 2 and 5 years old, and two staff members.  They developed fever, cough, sore throat, and runny nose since November 24. Fifteen of them sought medical attention, and none required hospitalization.  All of them are in stable condition.

Officers of the CHP have advised the nursery to adopt necessary infection control measures against respiratory infections.  The nursery 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 nursery will be covered in the compulsory testing notice (CTN) today to exclude the possibility of COVID-19 infection.  The nursery will 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 the 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 percent alcohol-based hand rub;
  • 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 afterward;
  • 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.

SOURCE: The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (www.info.gov.hk)