Via the Centre for Health Protection: CHP appeals for vigilance against acute gastroenteritis. Excerpt:
The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) today (March 15) drew the attention of the public and management of schools and institutions to the prevention of acute gastroenteritis (AGE) by maintaining personal, environmental and food hygiene in view of the recent increase in AGE activity locally.
According to the latest surveillance data, the number of institutional AGE outbreaks rose from three (affecting 28 persons) in the week ending February 25 to 12 (affecting 132 persons) in the week ending March 11. As of yesterday (March 14), five outbreaks (affecting 46 persons) had also been reported this week. Most of the recent outbreaks occurred in kindergartens and child care centres.
In addition, the DH's sentinel surveillance based at General Outpatient Clinics and child care centres/kindergartens also recorded corresponding increases in AGE activity.
"AGE, commonly caused by norovirus and rotavirus, is a frequent cause of outbreaks in schools and institutions. AGE outbreaks may occur throughout the year but are known to occur more frequently in winter. AGE is highly infectious and may result in outbreaks which are difficult to control," a spokesman for the CHP said.
"We have issued letters to doctors, hospitals, institutions and schools today on the latest situation. Schools and institutions are also reminded to follow the Guidelines on Prevention of Communicable Diseases on preventive and control measures as well as management of outbreaks, which should be reported to the CHP for prompt follow-up. Health advice has also been given," the spokesman said.