Hong Kong Watches Respiratory Tract Infection Cases

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The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Hong Kong Department of Health urged members of the public and management of institutions to take preventive measures against respiratory tract infection by observing strict environmental and personal hygiene.

The appeal was made after CHP received two reports of outbreaks of respiratory tract infection affecting 41 students.

In the first case, twenty students of a primary school in Kowloon City, comprising 12 boys and eight girls aged from six to eight, developed symptoms of respiratory tract infection, including fever, cough, runny nose and sore throat between November 3 and 10.

Twenty-one other students of a kindergarten in Wan Chai were affected in the second report. The students, comprising five boys and 16 girls, all aged five, developed similar symptoms of respiratory tract infection, from November 5 to 10.

CHP's investigation revealed that 40 of them consulted general practitioners or out-patient clinics and one attended Accident and Emergency Department of hospital. None required hospitalization.

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CHP officials have conducted field visits to the schools and provided health advice to the school staff.

To prevent respiratory tract infection, the public are advised to adopt the following measures:

* Build up good body immunity by having a proper diet, regular exercise and adequate rest, reducing stress and avoiding smoking;

* Maintain good personal hygiene, and wash hands after sneezing or coughing, and wear a mask when developing symptoms of respiratory tract infections;

* Maintain good ventilation; and

* Avoid visiting crowded places with poor ventilation.

Members of the public, particularly children, elderly people and those with chronic diseases, should wear face masks and consult their doctors for medical advice promptly if they develop symptoms of respiratory tract infection.

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