Published Date: 2007-05-30 13:00:02
Subject: PRO/EDR> Hand, foot & mouth disease - China (Hong Kong)
Archive Number: 20070530.1741
HAND, FOOT & MOUTH DISEASE - CHINA (HONG KONG)
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Tue 29 May 2007
Source: Health and Community, news.gov.hk [edited]
The Centre for Health Protection is investigating a hand-foot-mouth
disease (HFMD) outbreak in a Sha Tin kindergarten involving 9
children aged 3 to 6. [Between 5 May and 28 May 2007, the children]
developed fever, mouth ulcers, blisters on their feet and hands,
abdominal pain, and diarrhoea. A 4-year-old boy was diagnosed with
enterovirus-71 (EV71) on 26 May 2007. None of the children required
hospitalisation and 5, including the boy with EV71, have recovered.
The [remaining 4] are in stable condition.
The Centre has advised the school management to suspend lessons for 2
weeks from tomorrow [30 May 2007], for thorough disinfection. Samples
taken from the affected children are under examination.
Hand-foot-mouth disease is a viral infection mainly transmitted via
the faecal-oral route. Direct contact with open skin can also spread it.
ProMED-mail Rapporteur Dan Silver
[Hand-foot-mouth disease (HFMD) is a common illness of infants and
children caused by enterovirus infection. HFMD begins with a mild
fever, poor appetite, and frequently a sore throat. It is
characterized by fever, sores in the mouth, and a rash with blisters.
It appears to be more comment in Southeast Asia and in recent weeks,
outbreaks have been reported in mainland China, the Maldives,
Singapore, and Sri Lanka (see below), as well as in Hong Kong.
The most common cause is coxsackievirus A16 infection or sometimes,
enterovirus 71 or another enterovirus. HFMD caused by coxsackievirus
A16 infection is a mild disease and nearly all patients recover
without medical treatment in 7 to 10 days. Complications are
uncommon. Rarely, a patient with coxsackievirus A16 infection may
also develop "aseptic" meningitis. Enterovirus 71 may also cause
viral meningitis and, rarely, more serious diseases, such as
encephalitis, or a poliomyelitis-like paralysis. EV71 encephalitis
may be fatal. Cases of fatal encephalitis occurred during outbreaks
of HFMD in Malaysia in 1997 and in Taiwan in 1998.
The current outbreak in Hong Kong appears to be associated with
enterovirus 71 and the previous outbreak in Singapore with
coxsackievirus A 16. The identity of the infectious agent in the
other outbreaks was not established. - Mod.CP]