A viral gastroenteritis (also known as stomach flu) outbreak has occurred at the Fai Chi Kei Social Housing Estate’s nursery which was reported to the Health Bureau (SSM) on Thursday, according to a SSM statement.
The statement said that 18 children and a staff member, nine males and 10 females, aged between one and 62, were reported to be unwell. The statement noted that the first patient had diarrhoea in the classroom on Tuesday, while the other patients started to have symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhoea and fever on Wednesday. The statement pointed out that none of the patients are severe cases.
The statement noted that the norovirus and rotavirus are common causes of stomach flu, pointing out that they are usually active during the autumn and winter months. The statement stressed that the norovirus is highly contagious, especially in retirement homes and schools, and it is found in contaminated food or water. The statement noted that the norovirus has a 24 to 48 hour incubation period.
Furthermore, the statement underlined that the rotavirus is more common among children aged six months to two years. The statement also said that the two viruses have similar symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach-ache and fever, adding that the illness could last for up to five days.
The bureau urged people to be more aware of personal hygiene and not to attend work or school if they have symptoms of stomach flu. The statement said that if there are any multiple cases of stomach flu at a particular venue, residents are urged to contact 2870 0800 immediately.