Public should observe strict personal hygiene to prevent Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD) and Enterovirus 71 Infection (EV71)
Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD) is a common disease in children caused by enteroviruses such as coxsackieviruses and enterovirus 71 (EV71). The EV71 infection is of particular concern as it more likely associates with severe outcomes (like viral meningitis, encephalitis, poliomyelitis-like paralysis) and even death. The usual peak season for HFMD in Hong Kong is from early summer to autumn and, a smaller peak may also occur in winter.
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 nose or throat discharges, saliva, fluid from vesicles or patients' stool, or after touching contaminated objects.