[Source: Centre for Health Protection, Hong Kong PRC SAR, full page: (LINK).]

Outbreak of hand, foot and mouth disease in a school under CHP investigation

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (October 23) investigating an outbreak of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) in a school in Sha Tin affecting 22 students, and hence appealed to the public to maintain strict personal and environmental hygiene to prevent HFMD.

The affected students, 15 boys and seven girls aged 5 to 16, have developed fever and oral ulcers as well as rash on their hands or feet since September 13.

All of them subsequently sought medical consultation while one of them is now admitted to a private hospital for management. They are currently all in stable condition.

The stool specimen of one of the affected students tested positive for enterovirus upon laboratory testing by the Public Health Laboratory Services Branch of the CHP.

Officers of the CHP have conducted a site visit and provided health advice to the staff of the school. 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 (www.chp.gov.hk/en/view_content/16354.html ) for more information on HFMD and EV71 infection.

Ends/Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Issued at HKT 16:00