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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 (April 16) called on people to maintain strict personal and environmental hygiene to prevent hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD).

     The appeal followed an outbreak of HFMD at a kindergarten-cum-child care centre in Tuen Mun affecting 20 students aged between 2 and 5.

     Those affected, comprising 13 males and seven females, have developed oral ulcers, fever, vesicles and rash on their hands or feet since March 18.

     None required hospitalisation. All the affected children are in a stable condition.

     Stool specimens collected from two children tested positive for Coxsackie virus.

     Staff of the CHP have conducted a site visit and provided health advice to the staff.

     HFMD is a common disease in children and is usually caused by enteroviruses such as Coxsackie viruses and EV71.

     The spokesman called on the public to maintain strict personal and environmental hygiene to prevent HFMD. They should adopt the following 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 dirty with 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 diluted household bleach (by adding one part of household bleach containing 5.25 per cent sodium hypochlorite to 49 parts of water), 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/Monday, April 16, 2012
Issued at HKT 17:46


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