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Friday, May 20, 2011

Hong Kong : Caution against Enterovirus 71 infection and Hand, Foot and Mouth disease

Via Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection :

" In anticipation of the seasonal rise of Enterovirus 71 (EV71) infection and hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD), the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (May 19) called on the public to take preventive measures.

A spokesman for the CHP said an increased number of EV71 infections had been recorded recently. "In May (as of May 18) this year, the CHP recorded nine cases of EV71 infection, higher than the number of cases recorded in March and April, which ranged from zero to two cases," the spokesman said.

"The CHP has received 16 reports of EV71 infections so far this year, the patients aged from two months to seven years old. While a 14-month-old boy who had meningoencephalitis complication passed away on February 6, the other patients had mild symptoms without severe complications.

"The CHP has also received six reports of HFMD outbreaks in institutions in May (as of May 18) while five and one HFMD outbreaks were recorded in March and April, respectively."

The traditional summer peak season of EV71 and HFMD is usually from May to July. The local activity is expected to increase in the next few weeks.

The spokesman said that the CHP had sent letters to child care centres, kindergartens and primary and secondary schools alerting them to the latest HFMD and EV71 infections situation and providing advice on prevention and control."

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