Hand-foot-mouth disease remains uncontrollable

The Ministry of Health in Vietnam acknowledged on September 6, that in the past one week alone 2,218 fresh cases of hand-foot-mouth disease (HFMD) have been reported from 59 provinces, with Ho Chi Minh City recording the maximum number of patients.

The central province of Quang Ngai and Da Nang port city in the South Central Coast have the most number of affected patients in the central region of Vietnam.

The highland provinces, mainly Dak Lak province, reported 600 cases and one fatality while 896 cases from Thanh Hoa in North Vietnam have been reported.

Medical workers are struggling round the clock to cope with the ever increasing number of patients and fear that the disease could spread even more rapidly now with the start of the new academic year.

Dr. Nguyen Van Binh, chief of the Department of Preventive Medicine, said there is no effective vaccine for the disease; therefore prevention was better than cure.

Parents and teachers must be extra careful in maintaining personal hygiene in children with regular washing of hands, using sanitizers and disinfecting their surrounding environment. Parents must immediately quarantine children showing any symptoms of the disease.

The Ministry of Health has set up 17 inspection teams to check on and constantly monitor the anti-HFMD program being conducted in 30 big cities and in provinces across the country as well as distribute nearly 18 tons of Chloramine B and chemical spray to affected localities, in particular to the Pasteur Institute in Ho Chi Minh City and the city of Nha Trang in the south-central province of Khanh Hoa.

By K. Nguyen - Translated by Ngoc Anh

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