Health officials care for a child infected with hand, foot and mouth disease in the southern province of Dong Nai. Photo credit: dongnai.gov.vn
Last week, around 1,900 children were hospitalized with hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) nationwide, up 4 percent from the week before, the Health Ministry’s Administration of Preventive Medicine reported yesterday.
Since the beginning of the year, there have been more than 24,700 cases of HFMD identified nationwide; two of those patients died of the disease. The number of cases represented a 14 percent drop from the same period last year.
However, there were areas that have seen an increase in affected cases in comparison to last year’s issue, including Ho Chi Minh City and other southern provinces such as Ba Ria- Vung Tau, Ca Mau, Soc Trang, Binh Duong and Bac Lieu.
HFMD is an illness that causes sores in or on the mouth and on the hands, feet, and sometimes the buttocks and legs. The sores may be painful, but the illness usually doesn't last more than a week or so.
The disease is common among children but can also occur in adults. Though it can occur at any time of year, it's most common during the summer and fall.
The disease is caused by a virus called an enterovirus and usually takes 3 to 6 days to incubate in the body.