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Vigilance urged against Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease

     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health has today (June 19) urged the public to stay vigilant against Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD) during its current high season as a report of neurological complications due to enterovirus (EV) infection was received.

     The patient was a nine-year-old boy with good past health who presented with hand, foot and mouth disease in late May.

     On June 16, he developed headache followed by fever, lower limb weakness, limping gait and drowsiness in the next three days.

     The boy attended the Accident and Emergency Department of Kwong Wah Hospital on June 19 and was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit. The clinical diagnosis was meningoencephalitis.  He is now in critical condition.

     Throat and rectal specimens from the boy were tested positive for enterovirus (EV) 71.

     The boy studies in Free Methodist Bradbury Chun Lei Primary School in Sha Tin where a HFMD outbreak occurred in May involving five pupils aged seven. The onset date of the last case was May 31. Health advice was given to the school and CHP will closely monitor the situation.

     In another development, a CHP spokesman said the four-year-old girl hospitalised at Princess Margaret Hospital for aseptic meningitis has her throat and rectal swabs tested positive for EV 71.

     She is currently in Intensive Care Unit in serious condition.

     The spokesman reminded the public to maintain strict personal and environmental hygiene during the current HFMD outbreaks and to adopt the following preventive measures:

* Maintain good air circulation;

* 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; and

* Avoid going to overcrowded places.

Ends/Saturday, June 19, 2010
Issued at HKT 21:21


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