More than a dozen kindergartens in Vietnam have been closed to deal with the hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) outbreak, which has killed 111 children among more than 57,000 infections so far this year.
According to the Vietnam Administration of Preventive Health, around 5,000 new HFMD cases were reported between September 15 and 22.
The Tuoi Tre newspaper quoted Bui Van Dung, director of Hau Giang Province Department of Education and Training, as saying 13 kindergartens in the Mekong Delta province were shut down for sterilization work.
Hau Giang Province has so far reported two deaths among around 250 HFMD cases.
At least three kindergartens in the Central Highlands province of Dak Nong and the Mekong Delta province of Bac Lieu have also been closed.
According to the Vietnam News Agency, an average 2,000 new HFMD cases are reported each week across the country, with the Health Ministry warning the HFMD viruses could mutate into a more dangerous strain by November, resulting in many more casualties.
Last week, a three-year-old girl became the first HFMD fatality in Hanoi.