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Hand, foot, mouth cases fill hospitals

Update: October, 08/2014 - 09:28
Since the beginning of the year, there have been nearly 6,800 cases, an increase of 19 per cent compared to the same period last year. — Photo baodautu
HCM CITY (VNS) — When the mother of eight-month-old Le Hung Khai of Tien Giang Province noticed that her son had a high fever and mouth sores, she suspected the cause was hand, foot and mouth disease.

After taking him to the HCM City Pediatrics Hospital No.1 in District 10, doctors confirmed the diagnosis.

It was the second time that he had had the disease. The first time was when he was only two months old.

When Khai was admitted to the hospital, the neurology and infectious disease ward had no vacant beds.

"Six or seven children were sharing a bed," the mother, who declined to be named, said.

To help their child rest more comfortably, some parents had bought mats and placed them in a hallway in the ward.

In recent weeks, the hospital has seen an uptick in the number of patients with the disease.

Yesterday, the ward treated 80 children with the disease, while only 50 were admitted over the last two weeks.

Truong Huu Khanh, the ward's head, said this was the peak season for the disease, which will continue through December.

Both parents and doctors are taking a precautionary attitude toward the disease and admitting more patients after one child in HCM City died.

At the Peadiatrics Hospital No.2, the number of hospitalised children on October 1 doubled compared to the previous two weeks.

The city's Preventive Health Centre said in August, 519 children were diagnosed with the disease but the number increased to 799 in September.

Most of them were in districts 6, 8, Tan Phu, Tan Binh and Binh Thanh.

Since the beginning of the year, there have been nearly 6,800 cases, an increase of 19 per cent compared to the same period last year.

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

More than 90 per cent of children diagnosed with the illness recover without treatment, but for more serious cases, complications such as pulmonary edema or paralysis can occur. And in rare cases, some even die.

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

If they have the virus, then they should stay at home until they recover to avoid transmission, Khanh said

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

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