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Hong Kong : Latest Situation of Seasonal Influenza and Guidelines on Proper Hand Hygiene and Proper Use of Mask.

According to the Centre for Health Protection (CHP), the local activity of seasonal influenza has markedly increased in the past two weeks to a high level. A copy of the letter issued by the CHP is enclosed at the Appendix for your reference.

In view of the latest development of the communicable disease, we would like to urge schools to put in place CI IP's advice and reinforce preventive measures including the additional measure on temperature monitoring, receiving seasonal influenza vaccination as early as possible, proper hand hygiene and proper use of mask, etc., so as to mitigate the impact of seasonal influenza. Please also advise parents to take notice of the health conditions of their children. Children with fever should seek medical advice promptly and should avoid school till 48 hours after the fever has subsided.

Prompt reporting of suspected outbreak cases of communicable diseases

If a suspected outbreak of communicable disease occurs in school or there is an increasing trend or unusual situation in the number of persons taking sick leave with similar symptoms or due to the same infectious disease (for example, three or more students in the same class develop symptoms of respiratory tract infections within a short time), schools should report the case to the Central Notification Office of CHP immediately (Fax No.: 2477 2770; Tel No.: 2477 2772) by completing the "Suspected Infectious Disease Outbreak in School/ Kindergarten / KG-cum-CCC/ Child Care Centre Notification Form" to facilitate CHP's early epidemiological investigation and outbreak control. Schools should also forward a copy of the Notification Form to their respective Regional Education Offices (REO)/ Joint Office for Kindergartens and Child Care Centres (JOKC).

In addition, for more effective prevention against the spread of communicable diseases in the campus, schools should assign designated staff or a crisis management team to coordinate and oversee matters relating to the hygienic conditions of the school environment and to brief students/staff and parents on the relevant preventive measures.

Observing guidelines in handling class suspension matters

When schools consider school-based class suspension on the ground of outbreak of communicable disease according to EDBC No. 9/2015 "Handling Emergency Situations in Schools", they are required to consult the officer of CHP and confirm the situation with the respective REO/ JOKC before arriving at any decision. Taking into consideration the situation at the time, including the number of children affected, severely ill or hospitalized, the progression of the outbreak and the effectiveness of control measures, CHP would advise schools whether class suspension is needed. Schools should maintain close contact with CHP and this Bureau in this respect so that appropriate advice and support could be rendered.

We will continue to keep in close contact with the CHP and release the latest information on communicable diseases to schools.

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Publication:Mena Report
Date:Jan 30, 2018
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