EV71 closes nursery

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 10 May, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 10 May, 2008, 12:00am

A kindergarten and child care centre in Tseung Kwan O is to suspend classes for two weeks from today following the confirmation of enterovirus-71 (EV71) in a four-year-old girl.

It is the second school to close due to the virus this month and the latest case is the 14th case of EV71 infection in the city this year. There were eight in 2005, 16 in 2006 and 12 last year.

The Centre for Health Protection said eight children at the AEFCHK-EFCC-Verbena Nursery School had developed symptoms of hand, foot and mouth disease, caused by EV71, between April 23 and May 5.

All of them sought treatment from private doctors and none had to be admitted to hospital. But one, a four-year-old girl, had developed fever, oral ulcers and vesicles on her hands and feet since May 2.

'Laboratory result of her stool specimens today confirmed EV71 infection,' a centre spokesman said.

'CHP advised the school to suspend classes for two weeks for thorough cleansing and disinfection,' the spokesman said, adding that was a precautionary measure to prevent further spreading of disease.

The centre had already conducted a field visit and provided health instructions to the staff. The centre 'will keep a close watch on the situation. Parents are advised to pay attention to the health condition of their children, and to remind them to observe good personal and environmental hygiene,' the spokesman said.

On Tuesday, health chief York Chow Yat-ngok warned that the number of infections could rise amid concern over more possible cross-border infections, with 9,251 cases on the mainland since early March.