31 August 2012
The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (August 31) reminded members of the public and management of institutions to maintain personal and environmental hygiene to prevent gastroenteritis.
The appeal was made following the CHP's investigation into an acute gastroenteritis outbreak at an integrated rehabilitation centre in Yuen Long District involving 17 residents or day-care centre attendees aged between 21 and 57 and six staff members aged between 26 and 54.
The affected, comprising 13 males and 10 females, developed symptoms of gastroenteritis, including vomiting, diarrhoea and fever, since August 23. One of the residents was admitted to Pok Oi Hospital with stool specimen showed the presence of Norovirus. All the affected are now in stable condition.
Officers of the CHP have visited the institution and provided health advice to the staff concerning proper disinfection, disposal of vomitus, and personal and environmental hygiene.
The investigation is ongoing. The CHP will closely monitor the institution and provide health advice when necessary.
To prevent gastroenteritis, members of the public are advised to:
* Ensure proper personal hygiene;
* Wash hands thoroughly before handling food and eating, and after using the toilet;
* Wear gloves when disposing of vomitus or faeces, and wash hands afterwards;
* Clean and disinfect contaminated areas or items thoroughly with diluted household bleach (by adding one part of household bleach containing 5.25 per cent sodium hypochlorite to 49 parts of water);
* Maintain good indoor ventilation; and
* Avoid food that is not thoroughly cooked.
Members of the public can obtain more information on the prevention of gastroenteritis from the CHP's website ( www.chp.gov.hk ) or call the Central Health Education Unit hotline, 2833 0111.