Metagenomic study on the respiratory virus profile in the community

Summary: Aiming to understand the prevalence of other upper respiratory tract viral infections under the influence of the pandemic, Stanley Ho Centre for Emerging Infectious Diseases of The Chinese University of Hong Kong is now conducting a study involving the collection of samples from COVID-19 negative individuals with respiratory symptoms. If no such illnesses develop, please collect the sample in February 2023. The completed questionnaire and collected samples could be delivered to us using SF Express (fees prepaid). A HKD50 cash voucher would be offered to participants.

Aim and objectives

The purpose of the study is to analyze the distributive pattern of viruses in upper airway and its relationship with influenza seasons and the COVID-19 epidemic waves. Data collected from the study would contribute to the characterization of the symptomatology of respiratory infections and exposure setting in Hong Kong.

Eligibility criteria

To enroll, participants must be:

  • of age 18 years or above,
  • without a current history of mental illnesses,
  • normally residing in Hong Kong, and
  • able to communicate in Chinese or English.

Flow of study process

* The study period is between the 16th Dec 2022 and the 28th Feb 2023.

During the study period*, please perform a COVID-19 rapid test when you develop respiratory symptoms such as fever, cough, runny nose, and sore throat.

If the result is negative, please collect a nasopharyngeal sample with the sample collection kit we provided.

Please collect a nasopharyngeal and a throat sample towards the end of the study period, i.e. February 2023, if you do not have respiratory symptoms throughout the study period*.

Please package the nasopharyngeal swab as instructed and return it together with the completed documents to the address overleaf within 7 days after sample collection. We will afford the delivery service charge.

Upon completion, a HKD50 cash voucher would be offered for participating in the study.

The Joint Chinese University of Hong Kong-New Territories East Cluster Clinical Research Ethics Committee has approved this study (Ref. No.: 2021.554) and is authorised to access the participant records related to the study for ethics review purpose.

This study only accepts eligible participants. The decision of the principal investigator is final.

This research project is supported by the Health and Medical Research Fund of Food and Health Bureau of HKSAR Government. The contents of this website include highlights of the research only. It does not represent the position of the funder or any collaborating organization. The funder is not responsible for any claims, demands, or liabilities whatsoever arising from or in connection with the use of any information contained in this pamphlet or the participation of the sponsored project.