SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 2016

Public health officials probe Hong Kong ACJ outbreak

Public health officials in Hong Kong began probing an outbreak of acute infectious conjunctivitis at a residential community for the elderly on Monday.

The Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health called upon members of the public to take preventative hygienic measures to ensure that they don't become infected with ACJ.

The outbreak has affected 35 residents ranging from 68 to 100 years old since Sept. 10. None of the individuals required hospitalization.

"ACJ is a contagious condition mostly caused by bacteria and viruses," a CHP spokesperson said. "The symptoms are irritation, tearing, pain and redness of the eyes. In most cases, full recovery can be expected within one to two weeks with proper treatment."

Red-eye syndrome, as ACJ is often called, is typically transmitted by contact with discharge from the eyes or respiratory tracts of infected people.

CHP officials urged members of the public to seek medical attention if they experience symptoms of ACJ. The public is also encouraged to refrain from going into public places - especially places where the virus could easily be transmitted like swimming pools or schools - until symptoms have been treated.