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Posts tagged ‘HFMD’

HFMD cases reported hits more than 18,000

Hand, foot and mouth disease: First vaccine

Infected hand
The infection causes a rash on the hands and feet as well as mouth ulcers

he first vaccine which protects children against hand, foot and mouth disease has been reported by scientists in China.

The infection causes a rash and painful blisters, but in some cases results in brain infections which can be fatal.

A trial involving 10,000 children, published in the Lancet, showed the vaccine was 90% effective against one virus which causes the disease.

It does not protect against other viruses that result in the disease.

Viruses can cause large outbreaks of hand, foot and mouth disease. In 2009, there was an outbreak in China involving 1.2 million people. Nearly 14,000 people had severe complications and 353 people died.

Groups of researchers in Jiangsu province and Beijing tested a vaccine made from a deactivated enterovirus 71 (EV71), which causes the disease.

Two jabs were given to children between six and 35 months old. They prevented 90% of cases of hand, foot and mouth disease caused by EV71.

“Infection with EV71 is of particular concern because it can cause severe disease and even death in children. The EV71 vaccine could help prevent hospital admissions and severe cases,” the researchers said.

Hand, foot and mouth disease is caused by many other viruses, such as Coxsackievirus A16 and even other strains of EV71, so this vaccine could not eliminate the disease.

The researchers themselves warn that: “The EV71 vaccine might have little part in reducing the overall incidence of HFMD, even by universal mass immunisation of children.”

Commenting on the research, Dr Nigel Crawford and Dr Steve Graham, both from the University of Melbourne, said the vaccine was tailored to the predominant strain in China.

“The major effect of this vaccine will be to reduce hospital admission, which is an important result of many vaccines.

“The next step is to assess the appropriateness of including an EV71 vaccine in China’s national immunisation programme.”


Slight increase in new HFMD cases, says state Health Department

KUCHING: The number of new hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) cases reported this week (Aug 5-10) has increased slightly to 203, from 195 last week.

Most of the cases were from Kuching, Sibu, Miri, Sarikei and Serian, said the state Health Department in a press release here yesterday.

As of August, it said the cumulative number of cases was 10,610 while the number of admissions reported was 31, which increased by 0.7% compared to previous week.

“Most of the admissions were in Sibu (13). The cumulative number of admissions as of Aug 10 was 1,016.”

However, no closure order was served on any institutions.

“Generally, the number of cases had slightly increased but still remained below the outbreak and warning levels,” it said.

The department reminded parents not to bring their children to school, or any crowded public places as a measure to control the disease.

“If their children is having HFMD symptoms, they are to seek medical attention early. Parents should also ensure that a high standard of personal and environmental hygiene is maintained at home. Children infected with HFMD should avoid contact with other children,” it said.

The department said lack of awareness among parents had been identified as among the factors that contributed to poor control of the disease.

All schools and institutions must continue their daily screening of children upon arrival and to refer sick children for further assessment by medical practitioners, it said.

The Star

HFMD cases in Sarawak alarming

KUCHING (July 26, 2012): Sarawak registered almost 10,000 cases of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) since the beginning of the year, due mainly to the early onset of the dry season.

Assistant Minister of Public Health Dr Jerip Susil today described the situation at being at an alarming level and serious enough to prompt all state medical staff to be in full swing to monitor and contain its spread.

There have, however, been no reported cases of deaths, he said.

“Out of 9,954 cases registered as of Wednesday (July 25), Kuching district topped the list with 3,330 cases,” he said in a text reply on the matter.

Jerip said Samarahan district came second with 1,377 cases while Miri 974 cases. They were followed by Bintulu (820) and Sarikei (664).

“Generally, the number of cases is decreasing,” he said, adding that the recent “Epid Week” from July 15 to 21 saw 335 registered cases, a decrease by 5.1 % or 18 cases from the week before.

A total of 921 admissions into medical centres were recorded since January this year, mostly of mild cases, while 109 child-care centres and pre-schools, and 22 primary schools were ordered to close.

“Initially, before the end of May, we were pleased to note that incidences of HFMD had come down to a very safe level, but sometime towards the end of June and into July, there was an increase as the dry season caused the virus to flare up again.

“Now we are seeing higher incidences, especially in Samarahan, Kuching and even in Betong,” he said, adding that the situation was halfway towards epidemic level, with epidemic defined as any number higher than 270 cases per day.

Jerip, who is also Bengoh assemblyman, advised anyone with high fever, sore throat, rashes in the mouth, hands and feet to see a doctor immediately, while parents and guardians should keep infected children at home.

Pre-schools and kindergartens whose charges have been infected must be shut down for a minimum of two weeks and report the matter to the authorities immediately.

The dry season was also highlighted as a contributing factor for the recent increase in cholera cases.

Jerip said so far they had recorded only pockets of cholera cases caused by poor water supply in certain areas.

He was unable to provide specific details as he had yet to be briefed on the matter but said the Health Department is keeping close tabs on the affected areas and the spread of the disease.

Sun Daily

HFMD kills 19 children in central China

CHANGSHA: A total of 19 children died of hand-foot-and-mouth disease (HFMD) in April in central China’s Hunan Province, according to the provincial health bureau on Tuesday.


Data from the bureau revealed 20,078 cases of HFMD infections were reported in April, which was three times higher than that recorded in March.
Reports also showed about 70 severely infected children were admitted to hospitals in the province on average every day, Xinhua news agency reported.
The bureau has warned of the high prevalence of the disease and other infectious diseases such as paratitis and measles during the season.
Li Shuangjie, an HFMD expert at Hunan Provincial Children’s Hospital, attributed the disease’s prevalence to ongoing rainy weather as excessive humidity is conducive to the spreading of the virus.
The Hunan flood control and drought relief headquarters said Monday that continuous rain had affected over 2.91 million people in 50 of the province’s counties as of Monday.
Fang Yibing, deputy head of Hunan’s health bureau said local authorities were ordered to prepare for disaster relief work and medical workers had been sent to assist in HFMD prevention work in kindergartens and primary schools.
Read more: NST

HFMD cases continue to rise unabated

SINGAPORE: Despite ramped-up measures by pre-schools to curb the spread of Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD), the number of cases has continued its unabated rise, sparking concern among parents here.

There were 1,394 cases last week, a 19-per-cent spike from the previous high reported the preceding week. The latest figures bring the total number of HFMD cases this year to 13,289.

According to a Ministry of Health (MOH) spokesperson, the HFMD cases so far are not related to the EV71 virus, which is known to carry potentially serious complications.

“There has not been any HFMD case with severe complications among the cases notified this year,” an MOH spokesperson said in response to TODAY’s queries.

Adding that the MOH will continue to monitor the situation closely, she said that the ministry’s surveillance of hospitals and general practitioners “does not indicate that the current uptrend is EV71-related”.

With the number of cases remaining above the epidemic threshold, MOH is also working closely with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports to “ensure that high levels of environmental hygiene are maintained in the institutions”.

The MOH spokesperson said: “Institutions have also been reminded to check the overall health of children daily upon arrival and to refer sick children for further assessment by medical practitioners. This, together with maintaining a high-standard of environmental hygiene, is an important measure in preventing the spread of HFMD to other children in the institutions.”

Pre-schools contacted by TODAY said they have increased their temperature and health checks. EtonHouse Pre-School, for instance, has stepped up its checks from twice to four times a day since February. Director Josephyne Ho said the school premises and equipment have been fumigated daily with sanitiser since last month.

Similarly, Odyssey The Global Preschool has increased its number of health checks to three times a day since January, while toys are sanitised daily.

The MOH spokesperson said the ministry “strongly urges parents with preschool age children not to bring their child to school, or any other crowded public places, if their child is exhibiting HFMD symptoms and to seek medical attention early if their child is unwell”.

She added: “Parents should also ensure that a high standard of personal and environmental hygiene is maintained at home. Children infected with HFMD should avoid contact with other children. Articles contaminated by oral or nasal fluids from infected children should be disinfected.”

Mdm Georgette Ong, 36, who has two children in pre-school, said she is “very worried about the situation”. There is one new case of HFMD at her children’s pre-school “almost very week”, the marketing manager said.

Another parent, Mrs Ooi Kooi Cheng, 36, also expressed concern as “the disease is very infectious and some its strains are fatal”.

The MOH spokesperson reiterated that HFMD is “a common childhood disease which is endemic in Singapore, thus yearly seasonal outbreaks can be expected”.

“The disease is generally mild and self-limiting,” she said. – TODAY


HFMD cases hit new high

A childcare teacher steam sterilises toys.


SINGAPORE: The number of Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD) cases has hit a new high. There were 1,171 cases last week.

The previous high of 1,142 cases was seen in the second week of March.

The Health Ministry said there are now a total of 11,895 cases for the year – three times more than the 3,710 cases witnessed during the same period last year.

A spokesperson said the cases so far are not related to the EV71 virus, which is known to carry potentially serious complications.

Two childcare centres – Smartz Playhouse and Mindchamps Preschool – have been identified as active clusters of prolonged transmission.

This means that these pre-schools have more than 10 HFMD cases.

– TODAY/cc


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