Health Ministry urges preventive methods against hand-foot-mouth disease

October 18, 2017 | 15:37
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The Ministry of Health has instructed people’s committees in provinces and cities throughout the country to ensure that preventive methods against hand-foot-mouth disease are being carried out as the number of incidences has increased.
A child is being treated at a hospital in HCM City.-VNA/VNS Photo Phương Vy

Since the beginning of the year, more than 730 children in the Mekong Delta city of Cần Thơ have contracted the common viral illness, which affects mostly infants and children younger than five years old. The figure is an increase of more than 100 compared to the same period last year, according to the city’s Preventive Health Centre.

The illness can sometimes occur in older children and adults, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Typical symptoms of hand-foot-mouth disease include fever, mouth sores and a skin rash.

Hand- foot-mouth disease is spread from person to person through coughing and sneezing, or contact with blister fluid or feces of an infected person.

Đồng Tháp Province has recorded more than 4,170 children with the disease since the beginning of the year, an increase of 123 per cent against the same period last year.

Many other provinces in the Mekong Delta region have seen an increase of incidences of hand-foot-mouth disease.

Nguyễn Công Tuấn of Vĩnh Long Province’s Department of Health told Tuổi Trẻ (Youth) newspaper that the virus had spread among children at kindergartens.

Dr Huỳnh Minh Trúc, head of the Cần Thơ Preventive Health Centre, said the peak season started from September and ended in November.

Because of the spread of the disease in kindergartens and schools, the centre has given guidance to teachers about identifying kids with the virus and isolating them in a timely fashion, Trúc said.

Teachers were also told to wash toys and other teaching aids and keep the school environment clean, he added.

According to the Ministry of Health’s recommendations, people should wash hands regularly, especially before cooking meals and feeding or holding babies.

They should disinfect dirty surfaces and soiled items and avoid close contact such as kissing, hugging, or sharing eating utensils or cups with infected people or those suspected of having an infection, the ministry says.

As of October, the country had more than 65,000 incidences of hand-foot-mouth disease, an increase of 10 per cent compared to the same period last year. Nearly 30,000 of the cases required hospitalisation.


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