20 students involved in influenza A outbreak at HK secondary school in Kowloon City

20 students involved in influenza A outbreak at HK secondary school in Kowloon City

All the girls aged 12 to 14 from Holy Family Canossian College had developed fever and other symptoms and sought medical attention

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An artist's impression of the flu virus

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today investigating an influenza A outbreak at a secondary school in Kowloon City, and again reminded the public to maintain strict personal and environmental hygiene against influenza.

The outbreak involves 20 female students at Holy Family Canossian College aged 12 to 14 who have developed fever, cough, sore throat and runny nose since February 20. All of them sought medical attention. Among them, two students needed to be sent to hospital, and one was discharged following treatment. All patients are in a stable condition. The respiratory specimens of four students tested positive for influenza A upon laboratory testing.

According to premilinary figures issued by the CHP, 5,064 people in Hong Kong schools and institutions had been affected by flu as of March 4.

What is influenza, anyway?

Officers of the CHP have visited the school and advised them to adopt necessary infection control measures against respiratory tract infections. The school has been placed under medical surveillance.

A spokesman for the CHP said, To prevent outbreaks of influenza and other respiratory infections, it is of prime importance that students with fever, regardless of the presence of respiratory symptoms, should not be allowed to attend school. They should seek medical advice and avoid school till 48 hours after the fever has subsided. Schools should also measure and record students body temperature properly.

How to wash your hands properly - and help reduce the likelihood of catching the flu

The CHP recommends that children (as well as the elderly and those with underlying illnesses) receive the flu vaccine as early as possible to prevent seasonal influenza. The public should also maintain good personal and environmental hygiene to protect themselves against influenza and other respiratory illnesses. 

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