Public should observe strict personal hygiene to prevent hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) and enterovirus 71 (EV71) infection
Hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) is a common disease in children caused by enteroviruses such as coxsackieviruses and enterovirus 71 (EV71). HFMD caused by EV71 is of particular concern as it is more likely associated with severe complications (such as viral meningitis, encephalitis and poliomyelitis-like paralysis) and even death. The usual peak season for HFMD in Hong Kong is from May to July and a smaller peak may also occur from October to December.
The disease is most contagious during the first week of the illness and the viruses can be found in stool for weeks. It mainly spreads by contact with an infected person’s nose or throat discharges, saliva, fluid from vesicles or stool, or after touching contaminated objects.
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