HFM disease spreading rapidly

Update: April, 22/2015 - 08:12
A doctor examines a child with the hand-foot-mouth disease at the Bac Lieu General Hospital. — VNA/VNS Photo Huynh Su

HCM CITY (VNS) — All three children of Pham Ly Bang of Tan Binh District, who contracted hand-foot-mouth disease from each other, are being treated at local hospitals, which are now burdened with many patients with the contagious disease.

Bang's two older children are now recovering but the others are being treated at HCM City Paediatrics Hospitals No 1's Neurology and Infectious Diseases ward.

"My daughter cries due to pain. Ulcers have appeared on her tongue. And she has a poor appetite," she said.

Along with her kids, more parents have taken their children to the hospital for treatment of the disease. On April 20, nearly 50 children were admitted to the ward.

The number of children admitted last week was high also, according to the ward's report.

Dr Truong Huu Khanh, the ward's head, said many inpatients were diagnosed at grade 3, and at grade 4, the highest level that can affect the lungs or even lead to death. Paralysis can also occur.

Parents with young children should take preventive measures as the disease peaks in May, June, September and October, he said.

There is no vaccine and specific treatment for the disease, he added.

Hand, foot and mouth disease is a common viral illness among children under 5 years old.

Ninety-five per cent of children diagnosed with the illness recover, but for more serious cases, complications such as pulmonary edema or paralysis can occur.

In the case of children with complications that are not treated, they can die quickly.

Khanh said that parents should learn the signs of the disease and take their children to the hospital for tests.

Common signs include fever, reduced appetite, sore throat and rash on hands, feet and the diaper area.

If they have the virus, they should stay at home until they recover to avoid transmission, Khanh said, adding that it was vital to isolate infected children in families to avoid transmission.

"It is very important that everyone wash their hands with soap and water, and clean and disinfect toys and the floors frequently as the disease is transmitted via digestive system," he added. — VNS