Via the Centre for Health Protection: Hong Kong enters peak season of hand, foot and mouth disease and enterovirus 71 infection. Excerpt:
The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (May 18) called on the public to maintain vigilance against hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) and enterovirus 71 (EV71) infection, as the latest surveillance data showed that Hong Kong is entering the traditional peak season of the disease.
"The activity of both HFMD and EV71 infection is on the rise. The usual peak season is from May to July, with a possible smaller winter peak from October to December. Schools, institutions and play facilities should observe our guidelines and health advice against outbreaks to better protect young children who are more prone to both diseases," a spokesman for the CHP said.
The number of institutional HFMD outbreaks increased from five (affecting 16 persons) in the week ending April 30 to 30 (124 persons) last week. As of yesterday (May 17), 13 (42 persons) had been reported this week. In the past four weeks, kindergartens and child care centres (KG/CCCs) reported most outbreaks (63 per cent), followed by secondary schools (20 per cent) and primary schools (17 per cent).
As for EV71 infection in 2016, as of yesterday, three cases were recorded with no severe or death cases. In 2015, 56 cases including six with severe complications were filed. Regarding severe paediatric enterovirus infection other than EV71 and poliovirus, three cases had been recorded so far this year while eight were recorded in 2015, with no deaths in both years.
In addition, surveillance of HFMD based at Accident and Emergency Departments and sentinel KG/CCCs also recorded a corresponding increase in HFMD activity.
"Apart from ongoing health education for schools and students, our Port Health Office has reinforced health advice to schools receiving cross-boundary students (CBS) and operators of cross-boundary school coaches in a briefing on transportation arrangements for CBS held by the Education Bureau on May 5. Good ventilation and environmental hygiene inside compartments are essential in preventing infectious diseases," the spokesman said.