THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2016

HFMD outbreak reported in Hong Kong school

Public health officials announced on Wednesday that they are investigating an outbreak of hand, foot and mouth disease in Sha Tin, Hong Kong.

The outbreak occurred at a school and affected 22 students. Those infected include 15 boys and seven girls who range from 5 to 16 years old.

The first reported case occurred on Sept. 13. Since then, more students have come forward experiencing high fevers as well as ulcers on their mouths, hands and feet. All of the infected students are in stable condition.

HFMD was confirmed in a stool sample taken from one of the students and tested by the Public Health Laboratory Services Branch of the Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health.

HFMD commonly affects children and usually is caused by enterovirusses, including coxsackie viruses and enterovirus 71.

The CHP officials advise the public to take basic preventative measures to protect against the virus. Sufficient air circulation, hand sanitation, limited transmission of germs from coughing and sneezing and regular cleaning of toys and other items used by children are all recommended.

Also, children who experience symptoms are urged to stay home from school and to avoid public places.

The outbreak remains under investigation, and CHP officials are seeking out additional cases of HFMD.