The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health announced today (3 December) that it is investigating an outbreak of acute gastroenteritis at the Christian Hong Kong Chung-ken Society An Yan Nursery School in Tai Po, involving 36 schoolchildren aged between <> and <> and one staff member, all of whom are in stable condition.
The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health announced today (3 December) that it is investigating an outbreak of acute gastroenteritis at the Christian Hong Kong Chung-Chun Hui On Yan Nursery School in Tai Po, involving 36 school children. (Profile picture)
36 students and 1 staff member suffered from vomiting, diarrhoea and fever
The case involved 36 schoolchildren, including 24 males and 12 females, aged between 6 and 29, and one staff member. Since 19 June, they have been experiencing vomiting, diarrhoea and fever. Nineteen schoolchildren have sought medical attention, five of whom have been admitted to hospital, and three have been discharged after treatment. All patients are in stable condition.
The greater chance is human-to-human transmission or environmental pollution
According to the CFS's investigation, two students first vomited in school on 6 June, while other students and staff subsequently developed symptoms of gastroenteritis. The CFS considers that the greater chance of outbreak is human-to-human transmission or environmental contamination and that the probability of food poisoning is low.
Alcohol cannot replace water to kill viruses
A spokesman for CHP reminded that as alcohol is not effective in killing some viruses that often cause acute gastroenteritis (e.g. norovirus), alcohol-based hand sanitizer cannot replace the use of loaf fluid and water to clean hands. Members of the public should take the following measures to prevent gastroenteritis:
Maintain good personal hygiene;
wash hands thoroughly before handling food or eating, after using the toilet or after changing diapers;
Wear gloves when cleaning up vomit and feces, and wash hands afterwards;
Thoroughly wash and disinfect contaminated areas and objects with diluted 1:49 household bleach (one part bleach containing 5.25% sodium hypochlorite plus 49 parts water), and wash hands thoroughly afterwards;
Keep indoor air circulating;
Pay attention to dietary hygiene;
use different utensils to handle raw and cooked food;
Avoid eating foods that are not thoroughly cooked;
drinking boiled water; and
Do not patronize unlicensed restaurants and food stalls.
Members of the public may refer to the CHP website or call the Health Education Hotline of the Department of Health (2833 0111) for details.
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