Hand,foot and mouth disease cases increase

National 1 minute, 36 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

THE Ministry of Health (MoH) has reported increasing cases of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) from January to February.

In a statement, the ministry said the total number of HFMD cases stood at 193 from the beginning of the year to February 20. It added that there were 82 cases during the month of January alone.

The ministry also stated that 74 per cent of the cases involved children aged five and below, but most of them only required outpatient treatment.

In 2013, the number of HFMD cases totalled 463 from the beginning of the year until April 28.

Symptoms of the disease include high fever, lack of appetite, feeling unwell, skin rashes and a sore throat. Mouth sores and ulcers are often found on the tongue, gums and inner cheeks.

The contagious disease is caused by various kinds of viruses that are contagious from one person to another and can be caught through hand contact or touching surfaces contaminated with the virus.

Infants are at greater risk of developing serious complications such as inflammation of the brain (encephalitis) and dehydration.

The ministry urged the public to take precautions to prevent and reduce the risk of HFMD infections.

Among the safety measures include always taking care of personal hygiene by washing hands with liquid soap after using the toilet, before eating or preparing food, and after changing nappies or performing any kind of chore.

Members of the public were also advised to always maintain a clean environment and not to send HFMD-infected children to school to prevent infecting others.

Parents were urged not to take sick children to public places such as supermarkets, shopping complexes and swimming pools.

The ministry further advised parents and guardians to take their children to the hospital and health centres should any symptoms occur.

To prevent the spread of the disease, the ministry also advised schools to temporarily close some classes, in accordance with public health guidelines.

The Brunei Times