17th March 2023 – (Hong Kong) The spokesman for Tuen Mun Hospital (TMH) made the following announcement today regarding a clustering of Respiratory Syncytial Virus infection in a Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU):
Three male babies and three female babies (aged from 11 days to 5 months old) presented with upper respiratory tract infection in a SCBU of the TMH Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine Department since 9th March. Viral tests were arranged for the patients and the test results for all the six patients were positive for Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV). All the patients are being treated under isolation and among the patients, an 11-day old male baby is in critical condition and a five-month old female baby is in serious condition. The remaining patients are in stable condition. The hospital is closely monitoring the patients’ condition and providing appropriate treatment for the patients.
The hospital is very concerned about the clustering of infection cases, and has immediately contacted the Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health for follow-up. Infection control measures have been stepped up. The hospital has also arranged viral tests for other patients with symptoms of upper respiratory tract infection in the same ward to prevent the spread of the virus. The hospital has explained to the patients and would maintain close communication with them to provide necessary assistance.
The relevant ward has implemented the following enhanced infection control measures:
1. Enhanced cleaning and disinfection of the ward concerned;
2. Enhanced hand hygiene for staff and visitors;
3. Application of stringent contact and droplet precautions
4. Ensure dedicate patient-care equipment was provided to individual patients to prevent cross infection
The hospital will continue to strengthen the implementation of infection control measures and closely monitor the conditions of the patients in the ward. The cases have been reported to the Hospital Authority Head Office and the Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health for necessary follow-up.
RSV infection is more active in spring and summer months in Hong Kong. It is the most common cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia for those under one year of age. RSV causes respiratory tract diseases such as infection of the airway, lungs and middle ear. It is the most common cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia for those under one year of age. The virus can be transmitted by direct contact with infectious secretions, by droplets spread, or indirectly through contaminated hands, eating utensils or articles freshly soiled by nasal or throat discharges of an infected person.