Health officials with Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) announced the investigation of a norovirus outbreak that has sickened at least two dozen in a party place in Sham Shui Po.
The 24 patients, including 13 children (six boys and seven girls) and 11 adults (three men and eight women) aged from 1 to 39, have presented with fever, vomiting and diarrhea since October 1. Among them, 18 sought medical attention while five of them have been discharged after hospitalization. All patients are now in a stable condition.
The stool specimen of one child tested positive for norovirus upon laboratory testing by the hospital concerned. Investigations are continuing.
In addition, health officials are investigating two outbreaks of acute gastroenteritis (AGE) in two kindergartens in Tai Po and Tin Shui Wai. An etiology has not been determined.
The outbreak at the kindergarten in Tai Po involves eight males and 13 females, comprising 18 pupils aged 3 to 5 and three staff members. They have presented with vomiting, diarrhea and fever since September 29. Fourteen of them sought medical attention and none required hospitalization.
The outbreak at the kindergarten in Tin Shui Wai involved eight boys and 13 girls aged between 2 and 5. They have presented with diarrhea and vomiting since October 3. Eleven pupils sought medical attention while one of them required hospitalization.
All three facilities have been visited by health officials and received advice concerning proper and thorough disinfection, disposal of vomitus, and personal and environmental hygiene. The three places have been put under medical surveillance.
Norovirus is a highly contagious viral illness that often goes by other names, such as viral gastroenteritis, stomach flu, and food poisoning.
The symptoms include nausea,vomiting, diarrhea, and some stomach cramping. Sometimes people additionally have a low-grade fever,chills,headache, muscle aches, and a general sense of tiredness. The illness often begins suddenly, and the infected person may feel very sick. In most people, the illness is self-limiting with symptoms lasting for about 1 or 2 days.
In general, children experience more vomiting than adults do.
Norovirus is spread person to person particularly in crowded, closed places. Norovirus is typically spread through contaminated food and water, touching surfaces or objects contaminated with norovirus and then putting your hand or fingers in your mouth and close contact with someone who is vomiting or has diarrhea.