A doctor examines a child contracting with hand, foot and mouth disease at E Hospital in Hanoi. — Photo plo.vn


The move is in response to the emergence of diphtheria in the Central Highland and the surge of hand, foot and mouth disease in Hanoi.

According to the General Department of Preventive Medicine, diphtheria has become an issue in a number of provinces in Central Highlands. As many as 78 infected cases have been reported in Dak Lak, Dak Nong, Gia Lai and Kon Tum provinces and three people have died.

The department has directed the Hanoi Centre for Disease Control and Prevention to provide professional training and guidance on the supervision and treatment of diphtheria and hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) to the health centres at districts.

All children subjected to the national expanded programme including those who use vaccination paid services should be reviewed.

It was a must to implement additional vaccinations for those who delay immunisation or have not been fully vaccinated, especially for vaccines containing diphtheria.

Hanoi CDC has been requested to supervise agencies in carrying out preventive measures against diseases and work with educational establishments to ensure hygiene practices at schools. The centre is also assigned to provide preventive medicine and other equipment needed for prevention work.

To enhance awareness of infected patients and the community in the prevention and combating of diphtheria as well as HFMD, the Health Department promoted the adoption of effective preventive measures include frequent hand washing with soap and water, cleaning contaminated surfaces and soiled items like toys with soap and water and then using a dilute solution of chlorine-containing bleach to disinfect them.

People are recommended to fully vaccinate and avoid close contact with patients with the disease. Those who contract the disease should go to medical facilities for check-ups and treatment.

High risk of widespread of HFMD

Since the beginning of this year, Hanoi has recorded 329 cases of hand, foot and mouth disease, equal to last year’s figure. However, the number of cases surged over the past the two weeks, according to Hanoi CDC.

Do Thien Hai, deputy head of Infectious Department of National Hospital of Paediatrics said the number of children that came to the hospital for examination and treatment for HFMD has increased significantly. Many of them have been hospitalised, he said, adding that without timely intervention, it will leave an unfortunate situation for the children.

Truong Van Quy, head of Department of Paediatrics of E Hospital said over the past three weeks, the department received between 10-15 patients check-ups for HFMD each day.

Particularly on July 7, it admitted four patients who suffered blisters on the skin, palms and feet. They also had high fever without interrupting for a long time.

“Unusual hot weather has heightened the risk of contracting diseases, including HFMD,” Quy said.

He added the epidemic might increase sharply due to the spread of the virus. HFMD is caused by a group of enteroviruses, of these coxsackie A16 and enterovirus 71 (EV71) are the most common.

An infected child could pass the infection to other classmates, he said. Currently, there is no vaccine or specific medication against HFMD.

It was necessary to bring a child to the nearest medical facility for check-ups and treatment if they had symptoms for more than two days or have fever above 39 degree Celsius with vomiting and difficulty sleeping, Quy said. 

To reduce the risk of catching the virus, he said, both children and adults should wash their hands often with soap and water many times throughout the day, and disinfect touched surfaces such as toys and doorknobs.  VNS


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