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Girl Confirmed to Suffer from EV-71 in HK
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A four-year-old girl in Hong Kong was confirmed Monday to have suffered from Enterovirus-71 (EV-71), a viral infection usually found among young children.

It was the third case of Enterovirus-71 among children in a Sha Tin kindergarten in the New Territories, which has temporarily suspended lessons due to an outbreak of hand-foot-mouth disease.

A spokesman for the Center for Health Protection(CHP), Department of Health, said a four-year-old girl developed mouth ulcer, blisters on hands and rash on feet on May 29. She sought medical treatment from the Accident and Emergency Department of Prince of Wales Hospital. Laboratory test results available Monday found she was suffering from EV-71.

The girl, who was not required to be hospitalized, is now in stable condition.

The girl has no recent travel history. Her one-year-old sister developed symptoms of hand-foot-mouth disease and has consulted a private doctor. Other family members do not have any symptoms.

Two boys, aged 3 and 4 in the same kindergarten the girl was attending, had already been confirmed with infection of EV-71 on June 1 and May 26 respectively. Twelve other children in the same kindergarten, aged between 3 and 6, were found to have hand-foot-mouth disease between May 5 and 30. All of them are in stable condition and none required hospitalization.

The school, which has suspended lessons since May 30, is being put under medical surveillance by CHP.

The spokesman said as the disease was transmitted by direct contact with nose and throat discharges, it was essential that the public should stay alert to the threat of EV-71 infection. He advised people to take preventive measures including wash hands before eating and after going to toilet and changing diapers, cover mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, maintain good ventilation and clean thoroughly toys or appliances which are contaminated by nasal or oral secretions.

This is the fifth case of EV-71 infection reported to CHP in 2007. There were 35, 8 and 16 cases of EV-71 infections reported in 2004, 2005 and 2006 respectively.

(Xinhua News Agency June 5, 2007)

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