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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD) on the Rise

There has been a an increase in the number of HFMD cases this year so parents please be on the alert!

The Ministry of Health also reports that there is a higher circulation of the EV71 strain which is the strain of virus that caused the deaths of 2 young children in 2000/2001. The predominant strain is still the Coxsackie A16 virus which only causes a mild illness so the vast majority of children will make a full recovery.

HFMD is mild in most cases with the child developing fever, sore throat and red spots and blisters on the hands and feet and ulcers in the mouth. They just need to be isolated and most of them will recover fully. However in some rare instances, the illness can get very severe and affect the lungs, brain and heart.

The danger signs to look out for are:

- Drowsiness, disorientation, irritability and fits
- Severe Headache and neck stiffness
- Breathlessness or turning blue
- Dehydration

If you notice any of these signs, you must seek medical attention immediately.

More about what to do if your child has HFMD can be found in my previous post by clicking here

The MOH press release dated 8 Apr can be found here

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