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Nursery school with HFMD outbreak advised to suspend classes

     The SA Wo Che Nursery School in Sha Tin has been advised by the Department of Health's Centre for Health Protection (CHP) to suspend classes from tomorrow (April 25) for two weeks until May 8 following an outbreak of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) affecting 13 pupils.

     Six boys and seven girls, aged two to six, have developed symptoms of HFMD since April 10. All of them sought medical treatment. No hospitalisation was required. They are now in a stable condition.

     The stool samples of two affected students tested positive for enterovirus 71 (EV71).

     The school management has stepped up infection control measures according to the CHP's advice following its visits on April 17 and April 20. As two further cases of HFMD have been observed, the school was advised to suspend classes for thorough disinfection and to stop virus transmission.

     There have been five EV71 cases so far this year. There were 68 cases in 2011 and 101 in 2010.

     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 materials soiled with stool;
* Keep hands clean and wash hands properly, especially when they are made dirty by respiratory secretions, such as after sneezing;
* Cover the 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/Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Issued at HKT 16:45


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