The Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection has confirmed another enterovirus 71 in a 21-month-old boy, bringing this year's total to 34. He travelled to the Mainland from September 3 to 5.
The boy developed fever, vomiting and oral ulcers on September 10. He was admitted to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital on September 11 and discharged on September 14.
Investigations showed this case to be linked to a confirmed case of enterovirus 71 reported on September 27, involving the boy's two-year-old female cousin who has already recovered.
Enterovirus 71 is one of the major causative agents for hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) and is sometimes associated with severe central nervous system diseases.
Outbreaks of enterovirus 71 have been reported around the world since 1969 after being identified in the United States, when it was isolated from the feces of an infant with encephalitis in California. By 1998, many enterovirus 71 outbreaks had been reported around the world. In addition to the outbreak in California in which one death was reported, four other outbreaks resulted in many fatal cases involving clinical deterioration and death in young children (Bulgaria, May-September 1975; Hungary, 1978; Malaysia, April-June 1997; Taiwan, April-August 1998).