Hand-foot-mouth disease heading for peak season in HCMC

By Nguyen Mi, Thanh Nien News

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Young patients with HFMD and their parents at the Children's Hospital 1 in Ho Chi Minh City. Photos: Nguyen Mi Young patients with HFMD and their parents at the Children's Hospital 1 in Ho Chi Minh City. Photos: Nguyen Mi

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Doctors at Ho Chi Minh City’s largest pediatric hospital said Friday that the number of patients with hand-foot-mouth disease (HFMD) has shot up in the last two weeks.
Truong Huu Khanh, head of Children’s Hospital No 1’s infection department, said 60- 80 patients have been admitted since late August compared to only around 30 cases each in June and July.
“The … such situation could continue until December.”
The number of victims treated as outpatients is also on the rise -- 131 cases in the first 10 days of September, five more than the whole of July – he said, adding there are two critical cases.
Neglect by parents, who mistake HFMD for sore throat or fever, worsens the illness and often results in hospitalization.
A young patient receives treatment at Children's Hospital No 1 in Ho Chi Minh City 
HFMD causes sores in or around the mouth, on the hands and feet, and sometimes on the buttocks and legs. The sores may be painful, but the illness usually does not last more than a week or so.
Caused by an enterovirus that takes three to six days to incubate in the body, the disease is common among children but can also occur in adults. Though it can occur at any time of year, it is most common during summer and fall.

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