Viral infection outbreaks at preschools

Outbreaks are increasing but should drop off with start of summer vacation.

The city is seeing an increase in cases of hand, foot and mouth disease, with outbreaks occurring at some local preschools, the Shanghai Center for Disease Control and Prevention warned.

“This is the season for HFMD, starting from April, and more cases are being seen this year (compared with 2017),” said Pan Hao, an official at the center. Pan noted that last year saw fewer than usual instances of the disease.

“From late June or July, the number of HFMD cases should drop significantly with the arrival of school summer vacation,” he said.

He said HFMD is a contagious viral infection common to young children. Preschoolers account for over 80 percent of cases.

The disease can spread through direct contact with mucus, saliva or fecal matter. Common symptoms include fever and red bumps on the hands, mouth or feet.

A parent surnamed Yang whose daughter studies at a kindergarten in Minhang District said classes were suspended from this week after one student in her daughter’s class was diagnosed with HFMD over the weekend.

Parents are advised to keep the hands and mouths of children clean to avoid the disease.

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