Updated  
February, 22 2012 10:20:00

What's up, Doc? ( 22-02-2012)

What's Up, Doc? runs on our Health Page every Wednesday and features questions from our readers about their health concerns. Email your questions to newsdesk@vnsmail.com.

What is hand-foot-mouth disease? How does it affect humans? How is it treated? Is it related to the foot-and-mouth disease that so devastated livestock in Britain several years ago?

John Kellas, Ha Noi

Dear Kellas,

Hand-foot-mouth disease (HFMD) is a human disease caused by one of several intestinal viruses. It should not be confused with foot-and-mouth disease, another viral disease, that affects cloven-hoofed animals, but only very rarely humans.

Hand-foot-mouth disease usually affects infants and children under five years old and is uncommon in adults.

The disease is contagious and spreads through direct contact with the infected person. It has become more widespread in recent years in Viet Nam.

Most of the cases in Viet Nam were non-fatal – the mortality rate is typically 1-1.5/1,000.

In more serious cases, it can affect the central nervous system, causing respiratory disorders and possibly death.

The typical incubation period is three to seven days. Symptoms include a fever, sore throat and rashes on the hands, feet, mouth and tongue (hence the name of the disease).

There is no specific medicine for treating the disease and no vaccine has been developed.

To prevent infection, attention should be placed on food safety and hygiene. Regular washing of hands with an antiseptic soap is also recommended. Adults should keep children's toys clean and not let them put the toys in their mouth.

Dr Nguyen Hong Ha

Deputy director of the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases

The opinion expressed on this page does not reflect that of Viet Nam News.

Send Us Your Comments:
Name:
Your E-mail address:
Title:
 

VietNamNews may edit your comments and not all emails will be published.

Highlight

PM's India visit to bolster strategic ties 4    PM's India visit to bolster strategic ties

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung begins an official visit to India today, aiming to consolidate the strategic partnership between both countries and take it to new heights.

Law to ease real estate restrictions 1    Law to ease real estate restrictions

Most National Assembly members yesterday agreed that the amended Housing Law should allow more foreigners to be eligible to buy or own houses in Viet Nam.

National team in training ahead of AFC challenge 1    National team in training ahead of AFC challenge

The Japanese coach of Viet Nam's national football team, Toshyia Miura, says that fitness and tactics will be his priorities in a 10-day training camp in the southern province of Binh Duong.

Bear bile tourism shuts down in Ha Long Bear bile tourism shuts down in Ha Long

Bear bile tourism in the northern province of Quang Ninh's Ha Long City has finally been shut down, according to the non-governmental organisation Education for Nature – Viet Nam (ENV).

Artist restores traditional values through paper Artist restores traditional values through paper

Artist Phan Hai Bang, who created a very special type of paper called truc chi, is now working with his team to bring back what he calls "old values" in a really big way.