January sees 109 cases of Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
THE Ministry of Health recorded a total of 109 cases of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) last month, up ti 33 per cent from 82 cases in the same period last year.
The ministry in a statement said the number of HFMD cases has been increasing since the beginning of this year, with 70 per cent of the reported cases involving children aged five and below, but most of them only required outpatient treatment.
Symptoms of the disease, it said, 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 soap after using the toilet, before eating or preparing food, and after changing nappies or performing any kind of chore.
The public were also advised to always maintain a clean environment and not to send HFMD-infected children to school to prevent infecting others.
The ministry urged parents not to take sick children to public places such as supermarkets, shopping complexes and swimming pools.
Parents and guardians were also advised to take their children to nearby hospitals and health centres should any symptoms occur.
To prevent the spread of the disease, the ministry also advised the affected schools to temporarily close some classes, in accordance with public health guidelines.
The ministry said it will continue to monitor the situation related to HFMD cases and will inform its development to the public from time to time.
The Brunei Times