Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease Reported in a Chinese Kindergarten

May 25, 2011 Updated: June 19, 2011

Numerous cases of hand, foot and mouth disease have been identified at the Oriental Oasis Kindergarten in Zengcheng City, Guangzhou. Some classes were suspended. The disease was also found in other kindergartens.

According to the Southern Daily, by May 18 two junior kindergarten classes were already cancelled. Due to the disease outbreak two more junior classes were cancelled on May 20. The number of cancelled classes is more than half of the total kindergarten classes.

Parents told the Southern Daily that they received a school notice on May 19 that classes were cancelled for one week due to the outbreak.

Ms. Liu, at the Oriental Oasis Kindergarten, told the Southern Daily last week that the school notified parents that children had symptoms of hand, foot and mouth disease. “During lunch break, we found ulcerative stomatitis in children. We immediately notified their parents. Currently seven to eight children are confirmed to have the disease by doctors.”

Dr. He, from the Zengcheng Municipal Disease Control Center, said that there were 15 confirmed cases of hand, foot and mouth diseases at the Oriental Oasis Kindergarten. The children’s situation is not serious and does not require hospitalization. Dr. He added that besides the Oriental Oasis Kindergarten, the disease has been found in other kindergartens.

One bacteria and virus control expert explained that children below five years old are susceptible to hand, foot and mouth disease, but adults can be affected as well. Once the disease breaks out, the patient is easily affected by other viruses and bacteria. For example, viral pneumonia, encephalitis, septicaemia and other syndromes can be triggered if the disease is not treated in time and can be life-threatening.

The doctor added that summer is a high risk period for the disease. “Children need to wash their hands more frequently. Keep the air circulated in the room. Don’t go to places where there are a lot of people. These simple measures can help reduce the chances of getting affected with hand, foot and mouth disease.”

According to medical experts, hand, foot and mouth disease is easily confused with other diseases. The disease’s latency period is usually three to seven days. Most patients suddenly have symptoms. There are four major areas: hands, feet, mouth and hip. The typical symptom is skin irritation (rash and blisters) appearing on the palm of the hand and the sole of the foot. When skin irritation is not obvious, people confuse the disease with a common cold or other viral infections. Patients will have enanthem in their mouths. Hand, foot and mouth disease is mostly infectious in its early stage. Along with it, patients will have throat pain, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and a low fever. It should be noted that not all of the above symptoms of hand, foot and mouth disease will appear in one patient.

Read the original Chinese article.