Six children from The Workers’ Children High School’s kindergarten in Avenida Marginal do Lam Mau have been affected by enterovirus, the Health Bureau (SSM) has reported.
The patients, five boys and one girl aged between four and five, started to show enterovirus symptoms last Friday when all of them sought medical help. They are all in a stable condition and the enterovirus did not cause any serious complications and the SSM has started to collect samples for further testing and has completely disinfected the classroom.
SSM officials have noted that enterovirus outbreaks usually occur during the summer when the virus can lead to hand, foot and mouth disease, as well as mouth blisters, and it can also cause serious complications such as inflammation and damage of the heart muscle or aseptic meningitis.
According to SSM advice, children aged below five are more susceptible to hand, foot and mouth disease. The incubation period is three to seven days when the virus is usually spread through bodily waste, saliva or interaction with contaminated items. As children in nurseries and kindergarten often crowd together and play games, it is more common to experience hand, foot and mouth disease outbreaks in such locations.
Symptoms of hand, foot and mouth disease include fever, sore throat and blisters and rashes on the palms, feet and other areas, SSM staff have pointed out. In seven to 10 days the rashes and blisters will disappear naturally but there is a chance that the virus still lives in the body and comes out as body waste a few weeks later, The Macau Daily Post reported.
The SSM is closely monitoring the situation and has stressed that most enterovirus patients can recover by themselves, and only a few suffer serious complications. Parents, pupils, schools, nurseries and daycare centres are urged to take the following steps to prevent the spread of enterovirus: washing hands after taking care of a baby; covering one’s mouth and nose while sneezing; avoiding crowded areas; improving one’s immunity; and visiting the doctor as soon as enterovirus symptoms appear.
Residents should report any abnormal collective case to the Health Bureau by calling 2853 3525.