CHP investigates outbreak of acute gastroenteritis involving 41 students at Harrow International School HK in Tuen Mun


21st March 2023 – (Hong Kong)  The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) is investigating today an outbreak of acute gastroenteritis (AGE) at Harrow International School Hong Kong  in Tuen Mun, and hence reminded the public and management of institutions to maintain personal and environmental hygiene against AGE.

The outbreak involves 41 students, comprising 26 males and 15 females aged 6 to 9. Twenty-seven of them sought medical attention, one of whom required hospitalisation, and has been discharged after management. The stool specimen of the hospitalised student tested positive for norovirus. 

According to the CHP’s epidemiological investigation, one of the students in the outbreak had vomited in the school playground earliest on March 15 and another student vomited on one of the floors on 17th March. Other students developed vomiting and diarrhoea from 18th to 19th March . The CHP also confirmed that the affected students did not consume common food or meal boxes, and the investigation results revealed that there was an outbreak of AGE caused by norovirus in the affected school, with a higher chance of person-to-person transmission or environmental contamination. The chance of involving food poisoning is relatively low.

Officers of the CHP have conducted a site visit and provided health advice to the staff of the school concerning proper and thorough disinfection, proper disposal of vomitus, and personal and environmental hygiene. The school has been put under medical surveillance.

Investigations are ongoing.