HCM CITY (VNS)— There were more than 103,000 cases of hand-foot-mouth infection over the first nine months of the year, nearly equal to the number in 2011 (110,000).
Nguyen Van Binh, head of the Health Ministry's Preventive Medicine Department, said 41 people had died from HFMD this year.
The number of cases each week is increasing by 10-15 per cent, with the number peaking at 4,700-5,000.
The best prevention from contracting the infection is good hygiene. Experts have recommended that parents wash their children's hands often with soap and avoid any contact with others who are infected.
The Health Environment Management Agency in collaboration with the Lifebouy brand has organised an educational programme on "hand-washing with soap so that Viet Nam can avoid an epidemic".
Programme volunteers, including mothers and children in the northern provinces of Nam Dinh, Hung Yen, Bac Ninh, Hoa Binh and Bac Giang, give demonstrations to people on how to wash their hands with soap.
Local children have also been provided free health check-ups and treatment.
In major cities such as Ha Noi, Hai Phong, Da Nang, Nha Trang, HCM City and Can Tho, the Health Environment Management Agency started a campaign that asks people to leave their fingerprint to show their agreement to wash their hands with soap.
Binh said the number of cases had increased sharply in Southeast Asia this year. In Singapore, 600 out of every 100,000 people have been infected.
In Viet Nam, the figure is 114 out of 100,000, with 75 per cent of the infections originating from the community and 25 per cent from schools. — VNS