Public Urged To Prevent Hand, Foot And Mouth Disease

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Personal Hygiene

Hong Kong Department of Health called on members of the public to maintain strict personal and environmental hygiene to prevent Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD).

The appeal was made in view of a HFMD outbreak in a kindergarten in Sha Tin involving nine children.

The affected children, aged from three years to six years from three classes, developed fever, mouth ulcer, blisters on feet and hands, abdominal pain and diarrhea between May 5 and 28. One of them, a four-year-old boy, was confirmed on May 26 to have infected with Enterovirus-71, a viral infection usually found among young children.

All the affected children did not require hospitalization. Five of them, including the boy infected with EV71, have recovered. The four others are in stable condition.

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As a preventive measure, CHP has advised the school management to suspend lessons for two weeks, starting from tomorrow, to facilitate thorough disinfection.

Stool samples taken from the affected children are under examination.

A CHP spokesman said the first case was reported on May 5. Upon notification, the department immediately started investigations and put the institution under medical surveillance.

The spokesman said HFMD is a viral infection. The most common causative agents are Group A Coxsackie viruses.

"The disease is mainly transmitted by the faecal-oral route. Direct contact with open and weeping skin vesicles may also spread the virus.

"In most cases, the fever, rash and ulcers subside spontaneously in one week and full recovery is usual. Complications are uncommon. Rarely, this illness may be associated with viral meningitis. Parents are, therefore, advised to seek prompt medical attention if their children develop a high fever, decrease in alertness or deterioration of general condition," the spokesman added.

According to DH

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