More than 20 police officers from the same region and about 70 trainees at a new firefighting training school have been hit with infectious diseases.
A total of 23 police officers in the Kowloon West region, which covers Yau Tsim, Mong Kok, Sham Shui Po and Kowloon City police districts, were confirmed to have been infected with hand, foot and
mouth disease, a police spokesman said.
Local media has reported that 15 of the officers came from the Sham Shui Po police station, and an investigation is currently underway. The properties were also immediately cleaned.
On Wednesday, it was found that nearly 70 trainees at the Fire and Ambulance Services Academy had developed food poisoning.
A Fire Services Department spokesperson said that they were looking into the matter, as they suspect it may be down to an infestation of mice on the premises.
“We have been conducting regular bouts of pest control. We will ask pest control technicians for advice on sanitation and how to prevent pest infestation.”
Both the police force and the Fire Services Department have reported the outbreaks to the Centre for Health Protection.
Hand, foot and mouth disease is caused by viruses that live in the gut of humans and animals, and is a common infection found in children. It spreads mainly by contact with poo, bodily fluids like saliva, or after touching objects that have been in contact with the infected person. The disease is most contagious during its first week, though the viruses can be found in poo for weeks.
It most commonly affects children under 10. Older children and adults are sometimes affected, but they tend to develop a milder form of the illness.
The disease is more commonly found in the city from May to July, but it can also occur sometimes in winter.
About 4,200 people were infected last year.
Hand washing 101 (just do it)!
According to Healthline.com, hand, foot and mouth disease can be caught through coming into contact with an infected person’s saliva or poo, or when they sneeze on you.
The virus can also be caught by people who touch unwashed surfaces, so wash your hands!
Use plenty of soap and hot water and clean them for at least 10 seconds every time.
Parents have called you out for your dinner? Wash your hands before you eat.
Have you just been outside? Wash your hands, because you’ve touched door handles and lift buttons other people use!
Just been to the bathroom? You need to wash your hands after you’ve finished.
Are you using a shared keyboard? You’ve guessed it, better wash your hands.