A news release from the Centre for Health Protection: Hong Kong enters peak season for hand, foot and mouth disease and enterovirus 71 infection. Excerpt:
The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (May 14) called on the public to maintain vigilance against hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) and enterovirus 71 (EV71) infection, as the latest surveillance data shows that Hong Kong is entering the peak season for both.
"In this week as of yesterday (from May 11 to 13), the CHP has recorded 13 institutional HFMD outbreaks, higher than the number recorded in the preceding three weeks, which ranged from one to four outbreaks per week.
"Sentinel surveillance among private medical practitioners also detected a significant increase in HFMD activity recently. In addition, as of yesterday, the CHP has recorded 20 cases of EV71 infection in 2014, which is higher than the total number of cases recorded in 2013 (12 cases). One case of EV71 infection this year developed severe complications," the spokesman said.
"The summer peak season for HFMD and EV71 is usually from May to July. The local activity is expected to increase in the next few weeks," the spokesman added.
The CHP has sent letters to child care centres, kindergartens and primary and secondary schools alerting them to the current situation regarding HFMD and EV71 infections, providing advice on prevention and control, and reminding them to report suspected HFMD outbreaks in their institutions to CHP.