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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 15) 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 secondary school in Sham Shui Po affecting 21 students aged between 13 and 16.

     Those affected, comprising 14 boys and seven girls, have developed oral ulcers, fever, and rash and vesicles on their hands or feet since May 7. All affected students are in stable condition. No hospitalisation was required.

     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.

     To prevent HFMD, members of the public, and especially the management of institutions, 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 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 oral discharge properly;
* Patients 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/Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Issued at HKT 18:23


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