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Two outbreaks of hand, foot and mouth disease under CHP investigation

     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (July 31) appealed to the public to maintain strict personal and environmental hygiene to prevent hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) after investigating into HFMD outbreaks at two summer camps which were respectively held in Stanley and Sai Kung by the same organisation and affected a total of 38 residents and two members of staff.

     The first outbreak at a camp site in Stanley involved 23 residents, comprising 19 boys and four girls aged from 11 to 18, who have developed fever, oral ulcers, and rash and vesicles on their hands or feet since July 18.

     The other outbreak at a camp site in Sai Kung affected 21 residents and two members of staff, comprising 18 males and five females aged from 12 to 33, who have developed fever, oral ulcers, and rash and vesicles on their hands or feet since July 23.

     Preliminary investigations by the CHP revealed that six of the affected residents, five boys and one girl aged from 13 to 18, had attended both camps. The camp in Stanley started on July 17 and ended on July 20 while that in Sai Kung was held from July 22 to 26.

     All affected residents and staff sought medical consultation. Two of them were hospitalised for management of which one has been discharged. All affected persons are currently in stable condition.

     Officers of the CHP have provided health advice to the staff. Residents and staff of both camps have 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 31, 2013
Issued at HKT 19:45


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