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CHP advises kindergarten cum child care centre with HFMD outbreak to suspend classes

     The Salvation Army Pak Tin Nursery School, a kindergarten cum child care centre in Pak Tin Estate, Sham Shui Po, has been advised by the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health to suspend classes from today (August 8) for two weeks until August 21 following an outbreak of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) affecting 22 pupils.

     Further to the CHP's investigation into the outbreak affecting 21 pupils on August 5, an additional case in which a four-year-old girl developed oral ulcers was reported today. The girl subsequently sought medical attention and did not require hospitalisation.

     This brings the total number of affected pupils to 22, comprising 15 boys and seven girls aged from one to five. They have developed oral ulcers as well as rashes and vesicles on their hands or feet since July 7. All the affected pupils sought medical consultation and no hospitalisation was required. All of them are currently in stable condition.

     The stool specimen of one of the affected pupils tested positive both for Enterovirus 71 (EV71) and Coxsackie virus A6 upon laboratory testing by the Public Health Laboratory Services Branch of the CHP.

     The school management has stepped up infection control measures according to the CHP's health advice following officers' site visits on July 15 and August 1. As an additional case has emerged in spite of enhanced infection control, the school was advised to suspend classes for thorough disinfection with a view to stopping further transmission of the virus.

     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 EV71.

     To prevent HFMD, members of the public, and especially the management of institutions, are reminded to maintain strict personal and environmental hygiene, and 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/Thursday, August 8, 2013
Issued at HKT 16:35


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