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Outbreak of hand, foot and mouth disease under CHP investigation

     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (July 3) investigating an outbreak of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) at a kindergarten cum child care centre in Tseung Kwan O, and hence appealed to the public to maintain strict personal and environmental hygiene to prevent HFMD.

     The affected 21 pupils, comprising 14 boys and seven girls aged from 2 to 5, have developed fever, oral ulcers, and rash or vesicles on their hands or feet since May 19.

     Seventeen of the affected pupils sought medical consultation but none of them have required hospitalisation. They are all currently in a stable condition.

     The stool samples of one of the affected pupils tested positive for Coxsackie virus A6.

     Officers of the CHP have conducted a site visit and provided health advice to the staff. The school has been put under medical surveillance.

     HFMD is a common disease in children and is usually caused by enteroviruses such as Coxsackie viruses and Enterovirus 71 (EV71).

     To prevent HFMD, members of the public, and especially the management of institutions, should take heed of the following preventive measures:

* Maintain good air circulation;
* Wash hands before meals and after going to the toilet or handling diapers or other stool-soiled materials;
* Keep hands clean and wash hands properly, especially when they are dirtied by respiratory secretions, such as after sneezing;
* Cover the nose and mouth while sneezing or coughing and dispose of nasal and oral discharges 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 or 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.

     The public may visit the CHP's website ( for more information on HFMD and EV71 infection.

Ends/Wednesday, July 3, 2013
Issued at HKT 16:22


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