The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is investigating an outbreak of upper respiratory tract infection affecting 19 residents and one staff member at a residential care home for the elderly in Western District.
The affected residents, aged 80 to 95 and comprising four males and 15 females, together with one staff member developed symptoms of upper respiratory tract infection including fever, runny nose, cough and sore throat since July 15.
Twelve of the affected residents were admitted to Queen Mary Hospital for medical treatment and have already been discharged. Nasopharyngeal aspirates taken from 10 affected residents tested positive for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).
All the 20 affected people are in stable condition.
CHP staff visited the elderly home and provided health advice to the management.
A CHP spokesman said that RSV is spread by direct contact with infectious secretions and could be easily transmitted among individuals in institutional settings.
"The incubation period can be one to 10 days but is usually five to seven days. Common symptoms include fever, chills, runny nose, cough, headache and decreased appetite," he said.
To prevent respiratory tract infection caused by RSV, members of the public are advised to take 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 and environmental hygiene, and wash hands after sneezing and coughing;
* 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.
Ends/Friday, August 10, 2012