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Vigilance against infection of Novel Coronavirus

Posted: January 23, 2020

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health are closely monitoring cases of novel coronavirus (nCoV) infection reported in Hong Kong, and alerting you to remain vigilant. Patients present with fever and acute respiratory illness, or with pneumonia, and may have visited wet markets or seafoods market in Wuhan (武漢市) within 14 days before the onset of symptoms. Please monitor your child’s temperature before school and do not send them to school if they show coughing, fever, sweating and shaking chills, shortness of breath/rapid breath, shallow breathing, sharp or stabbing chest pain that gets worse when you breathe deeply or cough, loss of appetite, low energy, and fatigue. Nausea and vomiting, especially in small children.

To help prevent pneumonia and respiratory tract infection, please consider the following precautions:

  • Perform hand hygiene frequently, especially before touching the mouth, nose or eyes; after touching public installations such as handrails or door knobs; or when hands are contaminated by respiratory secretion after coughing or sneezing;
  • Wash hands with liquid soap and water, and rub for at least 20 seconds. Then rinse with water and dry with a disposable paper towel or hand dryer. If hand washing facilities are not available, or when hands are not visibly soiled, hand hygiene with 70 to 80% alcohol-based handrub is an effective alternative;
  • Cover your mouth and nose with tissue paper when sneezing or coughing. Dispose of soiled tissue papers into a lidded rubbish bin, then wash hands thoroughly; and
  • When having respiratory symptoms, wear a surgical mask, refrain from work or attending school, avoid going to crowded places and seek medical advice promptly.

Travel advice

The public should take heed of the preventive measures below when travelling outside Hong Kong:

  • Avoid touching animals (including game), poultry/birds or their droppings;
  • Avoid visiting wet markets, live poultry markets or farms;
  • Avoid making close contact with patients, especially those with symptoms of acute respiratory infections;
  • Do not consume game meat and do not patronise food premises where game meat is served;
  • Adhere to food safety and hygiene rules such as avoid consuming raw or undercooked animal products, including milk, eggs and meat, or foods which may be contaminated by animal secretions, excretions (such as urine) or contaminated products, unless they have been properly cooked, washed or peeled;
  • If feeling unwell outside Hong Kong, especially if having a fever or cough, wear a surgical mask, inform the hotel staff or tour escort and seek medical advice at once; and
  • After returning to Hong Kong, consult a doctor promptly if having a fever or other symptoms, inform the doctor of recent travel history and wear a surgical mask to help prevent spread of the disease.

The latest information on Severe Respiratory Disease associated with a Novel Infectious agent can be found in the following website: https://www.chp.gov.hk/en/features/102465.html

In order that we can manage information and report back to CHP and EDB, we ask you to note the following: 

  • If your child has a fever and/or respiratory illness symptoms they should stay at home and recover.
  • If your child is off school with sickness, please let us know if your child has a fever and/or respiratory illness symptoms as soon as possible. If you have a doctor’s sick note, please provide us with a copy.

Your vigilance and cooperation will help us maintain a healthy school environment for our students.