Vietnam reports sudden surge in HFMD infections

TN News

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More than 1,400 new cases of the hand, foot and mouth disease were recorded among children in Vietnam in the last week of February.

This raised the total number of children with the disease to 7,731 so far this year, including nine deaths.

A report by news website VietNamNet said the latest weekly figure showed an upsurge compared to previous weeks this year when between 900-1,000 new cases were recorded.

The Preventive Health Department under the Health Ministry said in a recent statement that the disease was still spreading in a complicated manner, especially in the central region.

The disease is caused by intestinal viruses, of which the most common strain in Vietnam is Enterovirus 71 (EV-71), causing mouth sores and blisters on hands and feet.

Several studies carried out by the department have shown a high rate of healthy people carrying the virus strain, up to 71 percent.

This presents a big problem with controlling the disease, which does not have a vaccine or specific medicine for treatment.

Not many adults maintain good hygiene after taking care of sick children, the department said.

Regularly washing hands with soap is highly recommended, so as having well cooked foods and drink.

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According to the Health Ministry, the peak time for the disease in Vietnam is between March and May, and September and December.

The ministry has issued instructions allowing schools to decide to temporarily shut down classes if they have serious cases.

Many kindergartens in Ho Chi Minh City had to close temporarily last year as the disease killed 153 people, most of them children.

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