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Hand, foot, and mouth disease entering peak in Hanoi: health agency

Hand, foot, and mouth disease entering peak in Hanoi: health agency

Monday, April 22, 2024, 19:21 GMT+7
Hand, foot, and mouth disease entering peak in Hanoi: health agency
A doctor examines a child with hand, foot, and mouth disease at the Central Children's Hospital in Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: Duong Lieu / Tuoi Tre

Hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) is entering its peak in Hanoi with nearly 800 patients recorded so far this year, 1.8 times the figure logged in the same period of last year, the Hanoi Center for Disease Control (HCDC) has warned recently.

During last week alone, eight clusters with 195 patients were documented in Hanoi, the HCDC reported, warning that the capital city is entering a peak of the HFMD epidemic.

The number of HFMD cases across Vietnam is also increasing, with more than 10,000 infections recorded in the first three months, a 2.3-fold rise year on year, the agency stated.

The number of patients will spike in the coming time, the HCDC warned, adding that the illness often has two peaks every year, in April - May and September - October.

HFMD is common among young children and is transmitted through the gastrointestinal tract, thus it is important for children and their caregivers to practice good personal hygiene, according to the health agency.

The HCDC recommends that preschools and elementary schools strengthen HFMD checks and surveillance, while paying more attention to keeping personal items for students, such as cups, towels, and toys, clean and hygienic.

Schools should conduct a general cleaning drive every week to keep them away from pathogens including those that cause HFMD, the HCDC requested. 

Typical symptoms of hand, foot, and mouth disease include a fever, fatigue, a sore throat, oral mucosal and skin lesions, mainly in the form of blisters, commonly found on palms, soles, knees, and buttocks.

Dr. Do Thi Thuy Nga, deputy head of the general internal medicine department of the Center for Tropical Diseases at the Central Children’s Hospital in Hanoi, advised parents to take their children with HFMD symptoms to hospital for timely examination and treatment to prevent the disease from advancing to a more serious stage.

After examination and diagnosis, doctors will determine whether outpatient or inpatient treatment is appropriate for each child.

If a child is eligible for home treatment and care, doctors will give all necessary instructions, Dr. Nga said.

Parents absolutely should not arbitrarily use any medications other than doctors’ prescriptions for their children with HFMD to bar their illness from possibly getting worse, the doctor advised. 

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Vinh Tho - Duong Lieu / Tuoi Tre News

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