Outbreak of norovirus gastroenteritis confirmed at primary school in Tseung Kwan O

Hong Kong (HKSAR) -      The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (May 19) reported that the outbreak in a primary school in Tseung Kwan O announced on May 14 has been confirmed as norovirus gastroenteritis.
     Accordingto the latest information provided by the school, the CHP identified 10 additional affected pupils comprising six boys and four girls aged eight to 12, and two affected staff members, bringing the cumulative total to 169 pupils and eight staff members. Among them, 107 have sought medical attention and four required hospitalisation, and all have been discharged. All affected persons have been in stable condition.

     Stool specimens of three affected pupils tested positive for norovirus upon laboratory testing.

     Officers of the CHP again reminded the school management to adopt preventive measures against gastroenteritis.

Medical surveillance on the school is continuing.

     "Acute gastroenteritis (AGE), commonly caused by norovirus and rotavirus, is a frequent cause of outbreaks in schools and institutions. Norovirus infection can be transmitted via contact with vomitus, faeces or any objects contaminated by the virus, or via contaminated food or water" a spokesman for the CHP said.

     "Proper disposal of vomitus and faecal matter and adequate disinfection of the environment are key to preventing and controlling the spread of the disease," the spokesman said.

     The CHP advised members of the public to take heed of the following preventive measures against viral gastroenteritis:
  • Maintain high standards of personal, food and environmental hygiene;
  • Wash hands with liquid soap and water before handling food and eating, after going to the toilet and after changing diapers;
  • Carefully wash fruits and vegetables before preparing and eating them;
  • Cook all food, particularly shellfish, thoroughly before consumption;
  • Refrain from going to work or school, and seek medical advice if one is suffering from vomiting or diarrhoea;
  • Clean up vomitus and faeces and disinfect the contaminated areas properly and immediately. Keep other people away from the contaminated areas during cleaning;
  • Wear gloves and a mask while disposing of or handling vomitus and faeces, and wash hands thoroughly afterwards; and
  • Clean and disinfect soiled linens, clothes and environmental surfaces promptly and thoroughly with one in 49 diluted household bleach (mixing one part of household bleach containing 5.25 per cent sodium hypochlorite in 49 parts of water).

    Wash hands thoroughly afterwards.

     The public may visit the CHP's http://www.chp.gov.hk/en/content/9/24/33.html" target="_blank">norovirus infection page for more information.

Published on: 2017-05-19

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