A case of enteroviral infection has been detected among children in the kindergarten class of Hou Kong, affecting a total of 16 students aged between 2 to 3 years old.
The Health Bureau (SSM) announced in a statement that the early symptoms of infection were seen on April 11, with parents turning to medical institutions to treat their children.
One of the affected children was hospitalized for high fever, while the other cases were considered mild and there was no case of abnormal nervous system symptoms or other serious complications.
The SSM said that it had already taken blood samples for laboratory analysis, and that it reinforced its general cleaning and disinfection measures to the local school.
Symptoms of the virus include a runny nose, sneezing, coughing, a sore throat and body and muscle aches, amongst others.
The virus has a higher incidence rate in the summer.
This virus is also the source of several diseases, including common diseases from hand, foot and mouth disease, to myocarditis and aseptic meningitis.
The incubation period ranges from three to seven days and is transmitted by direct contact with infected stools, saliva droplets or contact with contaminated materials.
“Due to the close contact of children in kindergartens, especially in [play] activities, an outbreak of hand, foot and mouth disease is easy because the enterovirus has a high degree of contagion,” the SSM explained in the statement.
The health authority added that it is paying attention to the development of the enterovirus epidemic and pointed out that most enterovirus infected patients can recover on their own.
However, a few of the infected cases can involve fatal complications.
The bureau warned that parents and schools should take preventive measures and encourage parents not to take their children to daycare centers if symptoms persist.
Meanwhile, in a separate statement, the health authority also confirmed a case of collective influenza infection, diagnosing nine students aged 5 to 6 years old in pre-primary at The Worker’s Children High School.
Since April 11, students have had symptoms of upper respiratory tract infection, such as fever, cough and throat pain. The SSM said that there were no cases of hospitalization that had been reported.
The bureau said that the school has already implemented control measures, such as reinforcing the disinfection, cleaning and maintenance of air ventilation inside the premises, as well as isolation of sick students, which is in strict compliance with the health standards.
The health authority has called on the public to ensure that all members of the infected households are vaccinated. LV