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Herpangina outbreak in child care centre under CHP investigation

     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (May 19) investigating an outbreak of herpangina in a child care centre (CCC) in Mong Kok, and hence appealed to the public to maintain strict personal and environmental hygiene.

     The affected children, 11 boys and 15 girls, aged from 8 months to 2 years, have developed fever and oral ulcers since May 13. All of them have consulted private doctors and none required hospitalisation. They are now in stable condition.

     The CHP's investigations are ongoing.

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

     "Hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) is common in children and is usually caused by enteroviruses such as Coxsackie viruses and Enterovirus 71 (EV71). It is clinically characterised by maculopapular rash or vesicular lesions occurring on the palms, soles, and other parts of the body such as buttocks and thighs. Vesicular lesions and ulcers may also be found in the oral cavity. Sometimes there are patients mainly presenting with painful ulcers at the back of the mouth, namely herpangina, without rash on the hands or feet," a spokesman for the CHP explained.

     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;
* Avoid going to overcrowded places; and
* Parents should maintain close communication with schools to let them know the latest situation of the sick children.

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

Ends/Monday, May 19, 2014
Issued at HKT 16:37


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