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Public urged to prevent Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease

     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (May 28) called on people to maintain strict personal and environmental hygiene to prevent Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD).

     The appeal followed investigation into two HFMD cases with neurological complications and outbreaks of HFMD in a nursery school in Tuen Mun and a primary school in Wong Tai Sin.

     The first case with complication involved a 34-year-old woman living in Tuen Mun. She presented with headache and fever since May 20 and developed rash with vesicles over limbs and oral ulcers on May 22. She was admitted to Tuen Mun Hospital on May 25.

     Her clinical picture was compatible with HFMD and viral meningitis and she was transferred to isolation ward for treatment. She is currently in stable condition.

     Her 17-month-old daughter developed fever on May 21 and her 34-month-old son presented with symptoms of HFMD on May 27. Other family members are asymptomatic.

     A CHP spokesman noted that there was a HFMD outbreak in the nursery, HKSKH St Simon's Leung King Nursery School in Tuen Mun, which the patient's son attended.

     Four boys and two girls aged between two and four developed oral ulers, fever and rash or vesicles on hands or feet since May 14. All of them sought medical treatment and no hospitalisation is required. They are now in stable condition.

     As a precautionary measure, the CHP advised the nursery school to suspend classes from May 29 to June 11 for thorough cleansing and disinfection.

     The second case with complication involved a 43-year-old man living in Kwun Tong. He presented with symptoms of rash over his limbs on May 22 and developed fever and oral ulcers on May 24. On May 27, he started having double vision and high fever and was admitted to Queen Elizabeth Hospital. He is being investigated for his neurological manifestation.    

     His seven-year-old son developed sore throat on May 15 and presented with fever, oral ulers and vesicles on limbs the next day. He had sought medical treatment and is now in stable condition.

     The son is studying in St. Francis of Assisi's English Primary School with a HFMD outbreak linked to a severe viral meningitis case. The school has been advised to suspend classes until June 10.

     Meanwhile, CHP is also following up on an outbreak of HFMD in a primary school in Wong Tai Sin.

     The affected children, 12 boys and 12 girls aged between seven and 12, developed oral ulcers, fever and rash on their hands or feet since April 29.

     Twenty-one children sought medical consultation. A boy aged six was admitted to hospital and had been discharged on May 18. All 24 children are now in stable condition.

     The CHP has put the concerned institutions and families under medical surveillance and provided health advice.

     Investigation continues.

     To prevent HFMD, members of the public, especially management of institutions, should adopt the following measures:

*   Maintain good indoor ventilation.
*   Wash hands before meals and after going to the toilet, handling diapers or other stool-soiled materials.
*   Keep hands clean and wash hands properly, especially when they are made dirty by respiratory secretions, such as after sneezing.
*   Cover nose and mouth while sneezing or coughing and dispose of nasal and mouth discharge properly.
*   Clean children's toys and other objects thoroughly and frequently with 1:49 diluted household bleach, followed by rinsing/wiping with clean water.
*   Children who are ill should be kept out of school until their fever and rash have subsided and all the vesicles have dried and crusted.
*   Avoid going to overcrowded places.

Ends/Friday, May 28, 2010
Issued at HKT 20:29


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