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Press Release

CHP investigates acute gastroenteritis outbreak at elderly home

14 February 2013

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (February 14) 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 outbreak of acute gastroenteritis at an elderly home in North District involving 20 female residents and three female staff members.

The affected residents, aged between 77 and 96, together with three staff members, presented with symptoms of acute gastroenteritis, including vomiting, fever and diarrhoea, since February 4.

Two of them were admitted to North District Hospital. All the 23 affected persons are in stable condition.

Rectal swabs of three patients tested positive for norovirus. Investigations are continuing.

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.

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 ( ) or call the Central Health Education Unit hotline on 2833 0111.

14 February 2013