Emergency Cases

Peak season for hand, foot and mouth disease infection comes

Latest surveillance data of the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) shows that Hong Kong is entering the peak season for hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) and enterovirus 71 (EV71) infection. As of May 13, 2014, CHP has recorded 20 cases of EV71 infection in 2014, which is higher than the total number of cases recorded in 2013 (12 cases); while from May 11 to 13, 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.

The summer peak season for HFMD and EV71 is usually from May to July. CHP expects the local activity to increase in the next few weeks.

To prevent HFMD and EV71 infection, the public is advised to strictly observe personal and environmental hygiene. You are advised to:

  • Maintain good air circulation;
  • Keep hands clean and wash hands properly, especially when they are dirtied by respiratory secretions like after sneezing; before meals; after going to the toilet or handling diapers or other stool-soiled materials;
  • Cover the nose and mouth while sneezing or coughing and disposing of nasal and oral discharges properly;
  • Clean children's toys and other objects thoroughly and frequently with diluted household bleach (by adding one part of household bleach containing 5.25 per cent sodium hypochlorite to 49 parts of water), followed by rinsing or wiping with clean water;
  • Children who are ill should be kept out of school until their fever and rash have subsided and all the vesicles have dried and crusted;
  • Avoid going to overcrowded places; and
  • Parents should maintain close communication with schools to let them know the latest situation of the sick children.

The public may visit the CHP's website for a weekly update on HFMD and EV71 infection starting from May 16.

Source: Department of Health (May 14, 2014)