Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Alert! Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease is on the rise!

If you have been following the news, you would note that the number of HFMD cases has been on the rise this year. This is consistent with the increased number of cases that we are seeing in our clinic. So parents please be on a high index of suspicion if your child develops a fever, mouth ulcers and rash on the hands and feet.

Here are some important information about HFMD you should know:
  • It is usually a mild and self limiting illness
  • The incubation period ie the time of when the child is exposed, to the time he develops the illness, is about 3 to 5 days
  • It usually affects children under 5 years of age
  • The features are multiple ulcers in the mouth and spots on the hands and feet. Sometimes there may be spots on the buttocks as well
  • It is spread by direct contact through droplets, saliva, faeces or blister fluid from the infected person.
  • The lesions resolve in 3-5 days and there is no scarring
Please note that several years ago, there have been a series of deaths caused by the EV71 virus. So far this year, the predominant strain is the Coxsackie A16 virus which usually causes a mild illness.

What you should do:
  • Consult your doctor immediately if the child has a fever and has been exposed to HFMD or if you see rashes or mouth ulcers.
  • Isolate the affected child so he/she does not spread the illness to other kids
  • Wash hands with soap before eating and going to the toilet
  • Cover mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing
  • Maintain good air circulation
  • Clean all toys and appliances that may be contaminated by the affected child
  • Do not share eating utensils
  • Do not return to school until certified fit by your doctor
If in doubt, always seek medical advise.

Channel News Asia Report Here

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i would just to highlight that, caretakers and teachers should take the necessary steps to safeguard themselves, as they spend long hours with kids and its easy to contract hfmd as a result...
i should know, i'm working as a gymnastics instructor and i was down with hfmd last year.