CHP Investigating Three Cases Of EV-71

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The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health urged members of the public to be vigilant against Enterovirus-71 (EV71) infection following the confirmation of three cases by laboratory test.

A spokesman for the CHP said the cases involved two girls and a boy aged between two and four. Laboratory tests on their throat or stool samples collected earlier showed positive result to EV71 today.

The first case involved a two-year-old girl who developed oral ulcer and rash over her hands and feet on June 4. She consulted her private doctor on June 6 and is now in stable condition.

In the second case, a four-year-old boy was affected. He lived in Shenzhen and came to Hong Kong on May 26. He developed symptoms of fever, oral ulcers and rash over hands and feet on the second day and was admitted to Princess Margaret Hospital on June 1. He was discharged on June 3.

As for the third case, a girl aged four developed rash over hands and feet with oral ulcers on May 30. She attended government out-patient clinic and the Accident and Emergency Department of Princess Margaret Hospital on May 30 and 31 respectively. She has recovered without hospitalization.

The kindergarten she attended reported five cases (including the girl) of Hand Foot Mouth Disease with onset of symptoms between May 24 and 30. Staff of CHP had provided health advice on infection control to the school management and visited the school on June 3. No new case was reported.

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There are 48 cases of EV-71 infection reported to CHP so far this year. There were 35, eight, 16 and 12 cases in the years 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007 respectively.

The spokesman said EV71 was a viral infection usually found among young children. It is also one of the causative agents for HFMD.

He added that May to August is the usual peak season for HFMD and EV71. The infection is transmitted by direct contact with nose and throat discharges, people should be vigilant against the disease and observe the following preventive measures:

* Wash hands before eating and after going to toilet and changing diapers;

* Cover mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing;

* Maintain good ventilation;

* Thoroughly clean toys or appliances which are contaminated by nasal or oral secretions.

Children suffering from the infection should stay at home and avoid contacting other children until they have recovered.

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