Disease on the rise in Hau Giang
HAU GIANG (VNS)– Nearly 13,000 people have been infected with hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) this year in the southern province of Hau Giang, the provincial Department of Health have said.
This is three times more the number of cases recorded at the same time last year. It is reported that more than 80 per cent of the 13,000 are children from three to five years old. All communes have patients.
The disease is a human syndrome caused by intestinal viruses of the picornaviridae family. The most common strains causing the disease are the coxsackie A virus and enterovirus 71 (EV-71).
Of 15 samples taken in the province, all were positive with EV-71, which can cause serious illness and death.
The health department has said that local people's awareness of the steps needed to prevent disease remains weak. Only 36 per cent of people usually wash their hands with soap.
The department has made efforts to control the spread of the disease, including disinfecting outbreak spots and further disseminating the importance of using soap, especially for children.
HMFD usually affects infants and children, and is quite common. It is moderately contagious and is spread through direct contact with the saliva of an infected person. It typically occurs in small epidemics in nursery schools or kindergartens, usually during the summer and autumn months.
The usual incubation period is 3 – 7 days. It is less common in adults, but those with immune deficiencies are very susceptible. – VNS