The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (January 21) investigating an influenza B outbreak at a residential care home for persons with disabilities (RCHD) in Kwai Chung, and again reminded the public to maintain strict personal and environmental hygiene against influenza.
The outbreak at the RCHD involves 18 male residents aged 25 to 59 and two male staff members. They have developed fever, cough and runny nose since January 11. All sought medical attention. Among them, 17 required hospitalisation and 15 of them were discharged following treatment. All patients are in a stable condition.
The respiratory specimens of all 18 residents tested positive for influenza B virus upon laboratory testing.
Officers of the CHP have conducted a site visit to the RCHD and advised it to adopt necessary infection control measures against respiratory infections. The RCHD has been put under medical surveillance.
"Hong Kong has already entered the 2019-20 winter influenza season and seasonal influenza activity has continued to increase in the past week. It is anticipated that local seasonal influenza activity will continue to rise in the coming weeks and remain at an elevated level for some time. Members of the public should remain vigilant for protection against influenza," a spokesman for the CHP said.
"Particularly, children, people aged 50 to 64 years, the elderly and those with underlying illnesses who have not yet received influenza vaccination this season are urged to get vaccinated as early as possible to prevent seasonal influenza as it takes about two weeks for antibodies to develop in the body after vaccination. They should promptly seek medical advice if influenza-like symptoms develop so that appropriate treatment can be initiated as early as possible to prevent potential complications. Parents and carers are reminded to render assistance in prevention, care and control for vulnerable people," the spokesman added.
Besides receiving seasonal influenza vaccination as early as possible for personal protection, the public should maintain good personal and environmental hygiene for protection against influenza and other respiratory illnesses. For more information, please visit the CHP's influenza page and weekly Flu Express.
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