Two child care centres in Kowloon City and Wan Chai investigated for hand, foot and mouth disease outbreaks


29th May 2023 – (Hong Kong) The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health in Hong Kong is investigating two outbreaks of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) at two child care centres. The CHP is urging the public, schools and institutions to maintain strict personal, hand, and environmental hygiene.

The first outbreak involves 21 toddlers aged 8 to 26 months at a child care centre in Kowloon City. All 21 children developed fever, oral ulcers, and rash on their hands or feet since 11th May. One of the affected children required hospitalisation, but has since been discharged after treatment. The respiratory specimen of one affected boy tested positive for enterovirus (EV) upon laboratory testing.

The second outbreak involves 23 children aged 2 to 4 at a residential child care center in Wan Chai. All 23 children developed oral ulcers and rash on their hands or feet since May 18. None of the affected children required hospitalization.

The CHP has advised the management of both centres on necessary infection controls and preventive measures. The centres have been put under medical surveillance, and investigations into the outbreaks are ongoing.

HFMD is common among children, but adult cases may also appear. It is usually caused by EVs such as Coxsackie virus and EV71. It is clinically characterised by maculopapular rashes or vesicular lesions occurring on the palms, soles, and other parts of the body such as the buttocks and thighs. Vesicular lesions and ulcers may also be found in the oral cavity. Sometimes, patients may present mainly with painful ulcers at the back of the mouth, known as herpangina, without a rash on the hands or feet.