Vietnam announces HFMD outbreak at city kindergarten

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Health authorities in Ho Chi Minh City confirmed a hand, foot and mouth disease outbreak at a nursery school Wednesday, where at least ten children were still sick by March 27.

Tran Phu Manh Sieu, director of the city Preventive Health Center, said the disease was plaguing Hoa Lan Kindergarten in the ourskirts district of Binh Chanh.

The school reported the first sick student on March 8 and the latest on March 21, news website VietNamNet reported.

Two of the children had to be hospitalized. The school of 388 children was closed for ten days until the end of March for sterilization.

Official data also showed a surge in infections across the city, with more than 150 hospitalizations in one week in March.

The disease infected more than 110,000 children nationwide last year, including 41 deaths in 15 cities and provinces. It claimed 169 in 2011, out of roughly the same number of infections.

There's no vaccination yet available for the disease, which tends to peak in April and May, and patients are supported with respirators and blood dialysis to boost recovery.

Infections are usually in children under five years old, and many of the fatalities were caused by EV71, the most virulent strain of the Entovirus that causes the disease, and also the most common strain in Vietnam.

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