FRIDAY, JUNE 22, 2018

Hong Kong monitoring hand, foot and mouth disease outbreak at secondary school

An outbreak of hand, foot, mouth disease (HFMD) at a secondary school in the Eastern District of Hong Kong is being investigated by the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health on Friday after 19 students and one staff member exhibited symptoms.

The 13 boys and six girl students and one male staff member have all exhibited signs of HFMD, beginning on Oct. 6.

"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 the 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 said.

The CHP’s investigation is ongoing and after a site visit reported that the school is being put under medical observation.

The main symptoms of HFMD are fever, oral ulcers and rashes on the hands and feet.

Preventative measures can be taken to prevent HFMD in public places including: maintaining good air circulation in buildings; washing hands often, especially after using the restroom, sneezing or coughing; covering nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing; cleaning toys and surfaces frequently with diluted bleach; and avoiding going to overly crowded places.

Ill children should be kept at home until the fever and rash are gone and all sores are dried out. Parents should immediately notify a school administrator if they feel their child might be affected.

Organizations in this Story

International - Hong Kong Center for Health Protection

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