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Source: Hong Kong Information Services

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) today urged the public to stay vigilant against upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) as an increasing number of institutional outbreaks has been recorded recently.

In the past week, from October 25 to 31, there were four URTI outbreaks affecting 49 people, and in the first four days of this week, from November 1 to 4, there were 10 outbreaks affecting 73 people.

Among these 14 outbreaks, half of them occurred in primary schools, followed by kindergartens and child care centres with four outbreaks, and one each in a residential child care centre, a special child care centre and a special school.

The CHP pointed out that young children, seniors and patients with chronic diseases are prone to respiratory tract infection and its complications.

As schools are collective assembly places, infectious diseases could be easily spread among people through daily contact.

The centre today issued letters to schools and doctors appealing for heightened vigilance and appropriate action.

It noted that to prevent outbreaks of respiratory tract infection including COVID-19, it is of prime importance that children with a fever should not go to school and must consult doctors promptly.

Students and staff with a fever or respiratory illness should refrain from going to school and seek medical attention immediately.

The centre added that the symptoms of a URTI and other respiratory infections including influenza and COVID-19 could be similar, and it could be difficult to differentiate them clinically.

Doctors are urged to remain vigilant and arrange respiratory infection testing for all patients presenting with acute respiratory symptoms.

MIL OSI Asia Pacific News