Day creche with HFMD outbreak advised to suspend operation

     The Hong Kong Society for the Protection of Children Esther Lee Day Creche has been advised by the Department of Health's Centre for Health Protection (CHP) to suspend operation from tomorrow (June 15) for two weeks until June 28 following an outbreak of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) affecting seven children.

     Three boys and four girls, aged 8 months to 2 years, developed symptoms of HFMD since May 20. All of them sought medical treatment. No hospitalisation was required. They are now in stable condition.

     The stool sample of one affected child tested positive for Enterovirus 71 (EV71).

     The management of the day creche has stepped up infection control measures according to the CHP's advice following its visit on May 31. As one more child was today (June 14) reported to be affected by HFMD, the creche was advised to suspend operation for thorough disinfection and to stop virus transmission.

     There have been 34 EV71 cases so far this year. There were 101 cases in 2010 and 31 in 2009.

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

* Maintain good indoor 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 and disinfect contaminated areas or items such as toys promptly and thoroughly with diluted household bleach (by adding one part of household bleach containing 5.25% sodium hypochlorite to 49 parts of 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/Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Issued at HKT 19:01