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26 May 2014
Kindergarten-cum-child care centre with HFMD outbreak advised to suspend classes  

     C&MA Tin Chung Nursery School in Tin Shui Wai has been advised by the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (May 26) to suspend classes from tomorrow (May 27) for two weeks until June 9 following an outbreak of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) affecting 13 pupils.
 
     The affected pupils, comprising six boys and seven girls aged 3 to 6, have developed symptoms of HFMD, including oral ulcers as well as rashes and vesicles on their hands or feet, since May 7. All of them sought medical treatment. A 3-year-old boy was admitted to Tuen Mun Hospital. They are now in stable condition.
 
     The nasopharyngeal aspirate of the boy tested positive for enterovirus 71 (EV71) upon laboratory testing by the Public Health Services Laboratory Branch of the CHP.
 
     The school management has stepped up infection control measures according to the CHP's advice. The CHP has been closely monitoring the situation. In view of the fact that there were persistent cases, the school was advised to suspend classes for thorough disinfection to stop virus transmission.
 
     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 EV71.
 
     To prevent HFMD, members of the public, and especially the management of institutions, are reminded to maintain strict personal and environmental hygiene, and 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 website (www.chp.gov.hk/en/view_content/16354.html) for more information on HFMD and EV71 infection. 
 
Ends/Monday, May 26, 2014
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