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CHP investigates hand, foot and mouth disease outbreaks in premises in Kowloon West
     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (August 10) reported its investigation progress on outbreaks of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) in various premises in Kowloon West, and again urged the public and institutions to maintain strict hand, personal and environmental hygiene amid the peak season.
     "Upon receipt of a report from the department concerned on August 3, our Outbreak Team immediately commenced epidemiological investigations with ongoing medical surveillance. We will continue to work with the department concerned on investigations," a spokesman for the CHP said.
     The 37 affected persons, comprising 31 men and six women aged from 21 to 45, have developed oral ulcers, rashes on their hands or feet, and fever since July 26. All of them sought medical attention and required no hospitalisation. They have all been in stable condition.
     Officers of the CHP have conducted site visits and advised the management on necessary infection control and preventive measures. Medical surveillance over the premises concerned is continuing. Investigations are ongoing.
     "HFMD is common in children while adult cases may also appear. It is usually caused by enteroviruses (EVs) such as Coxsackie virus and EV71. It is clinically characterised by maculopapular rashes or vesicular lesions occurring on the palms, soles and other parts of the body such as the buttocks and thighs. Vesicular lesions and ulcers may also be found in the oral cavity. Sometimes patients present mainly with painful ulcers at the back of the mouth, namely herpangina, without rash on the hands or feet," the spokesman said.
     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/Wednesday, August 10, 2016
Issued at HKT 17:03
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