| Hakim Hayat |
ACCORDING to the Ministry of Health (MoH), the number of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) cases in the country last month increased to 319 compared to the average 140 in the same period for the last three years.
The number of cases recorded from January 1–26 prompted the MoH to issue a public advisory to curb its occurrence.
Eighty per cent of cases reported are among children aged five and below. No deaths were recorded from the disease.
HFMD is a common infection for children, especially aged below five. Its symptoms include high fever, loss of appetite, feeling unwell, skin rashes and sore throat. Mouth sores and ulcers on the tongue, gums and inner cheeks are also common symptoms.
The infection is caused by several viruses that can spread through contact or contaminated surfaces. Children have a higher risk of contracting the viruses that may cause serious complications such as encephalitis or dehydration.
The public is advised to take precautionary measures and remain vigilant in preventing and reducing the risks of HFMD by maintaining personal hygiene by washing hands with soap and clean water after using the toilet, before eating or when preparing food.
Maintaining cleanliness of the environment including homes, child care centres and schools is also important.
It is also advised to not bring HFMD-infected children to schools and other public places to prevent the spread of infection, disinfect contaminated surfaces including toys and do not share personal items such as toothbrushes, handkerchiefs, towels, blankets, cups and eating utensils.
MoH advised parents and guardians to bring their children to health centres or hospitals if symptoms develop. For information on HFMD call Darussalam hotline 123 or visit the MoH’s website at www.moh.gov.bn or contact MoH’s social media channels.