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Beware of hand, foot and mouth disease season

No case of severe complications has been recorded at the National Children’s Hospital

Hand, foot and mouth disease in Vietnam is a year-round disease that is transmitted through the gastrointestinal tract and occurs in most of 63 provinces and cities. It is usually recorded an increase in the number of cases between April-May and September-October every year.

Dr.Nguyen Van Lam, Director of the Clinical Center for Children’s Tropical Diseases in National Hospital of Pediatrics, said that from the beginning of the year, the Center has received about 125 hand, foot and mouth patients.

According to record at the National Children’s Hospital, on the morning of April 14, the number of cases coming to the clinic because of suspicion of hand, foot and mouth was not too crowded and all had mild symptoms. On average, every day, there are about 5-6 pediatric patients hospitalized with mild level 2A, there are a few cases of 2B.

Currently, the Center has not recorded any serious cases. Pediatric patients mainly have diseases level 1 such as low-grade fever, accompanied by a rash on the palms and feet, which can be treated and cared for at home. Children with symptoms of high fever and rapid pulse are indicated by doctors to be admitted in the hospital for follow-up care.

According to Dr. Lam, most children with hand, foot and mouth disease are under 5 years old, and children under 3 years old are more affected. Normally, hand, foot and mouth disease develops in 5-7 days, but if the child has early severe symptoms, it will appear on the first or second day.

(Children with hand, foot and mouth disease need to be examined at medical facilities to classify the disease status)

Right after transferred to the hospital last night, baby T. (13 months old) came to the emergency room in a state of vomiting after fever. At home, the child was given private examination by the family and was diagnosed with mild hand, foot and mouth disease, which can be cared for at home. However, after only one day of fever, the baby continuously vomited, then the family rushed to take him to the emergency hospital. The doctor said, T. has a typical systoms of hand, foot and mouth with rash on many limbs. This virus also causes digestive disorders for the baby, causing the child to vomit.

In the same emergency room, H. (19 months old) after three days of treatment, his hand, foot and mouth condition improved, his fever gradually decreased. Before that, the baby was examined near her home in Van Giang, Hung Yen, and was indicated to the hospital to monitor the disease.

The mother thought that the house was close, she asked the doctor to go home for caring. However, H. could not low the fever, and it got higher in the afternoon. Thus, the family took the child straight to the National Children’s Hospital to be admitted. After three days of treatment, this afternoon, H. will be discharged from the hospital by doctors.

From these above, Dr. Lam emphasized, when the child has a fever accompanied by a rash on the palms, feet, buttocks, chest, mouth, it is necessary for the child to go to the doctor for classification. In case of fever but no neurological manifestations and response to antipyretic drugs, the family should be instructed to monitor at home. Children with high fever who do not respond to fever-reducing drugs should be monitored at medical facilities to avoid possible unfortunate complications. If the child has signs of shaking hands, startling, impaired consciousness, the course of the disease tends to worsen.

The number of cases increasing rapidly, be careful before the hand, foot and mouth disease season

According to the infectious disease surveillance system, from the beginning of 2021 to April 7, Vietnam recorded 17,451 cases of hand, foot and mouth disease, including four deaths in Kien Giang (two), An Giang (one) and Long An (one). Compared to the same period in 2020, the number of cases increased four times and increased mainly in the South and locally in some provinces and cities such as Ho Chi Minh City, Dong Nai, Long An, Dong Thap, and An Giang.

At Ho Chi Minh City Children’s Hospital is currently receiving and treating more than 40 hand, foot and mouth pediatric patients of all levels. The number of children with this disease is increasing day by day. Some children have also had neuro-cardiovascular complications. In particular, some children have a very rapid progression of the disease, even though they only have a small rash at first.

Meanwhile, according to the Center for Disease Control of Da Nang city, from the beginning of the year to April 2021, the number of hand, foot and mouth disease cases across the city is more than 212 cases, an increase of 2.5 times compared to the same period in 2020 is 92 cases. Only in the last three weeks of March 2021, the whole city recorded 68 cases.

At the National Children’s Hospital, although no serious complications were recorded, the number of cases in 2021 had a sudden increase compared to two years ago. In the same period in 2019, the Center received about 70 cases; in 2020, this number is 19-20 cases and in 2021 it is currently 125 cases. “This is a number that needs to be monitored to warn of this year’s outbreak,” emphasized Dr. Lam.

Dr. Lam recommends that hand, foot and mouth disease is infected through ingestion, contact, droplets and person-to-person transmission. Therefore, climatic conditions, crowded environments, and hygiene habits are factors that cause disease transmission.

In order to prevent hand, foot and mouth disease, we must ensure to keep a distance, keep the habit of hand hygiene, children’s toys must be kept clean to avoid cross-contamination. Families need to feed their children cooked food, drink boiling water, use foods that are easy to digest, and ensure nutrition to enhance the child health. Families need to clean the baby’s body daily, and avoid draught when bathing. With sores in the throat, children must rinse their mouths according to the instructions and apply pain relievers.

Dr Lam pointed out that when the parents see that their children do not respond to fever, they immediately increase the dose for their children. It is serious mistake.  Dr. Lam said that antipyretic drugs must be treated at the correct dose and every six hours to be used again.

“At the center, we have received cases of children who did not respond to fever, parents impatiently used another dose of antipyretic. It led to an overdose, then the child was poisoned with paracetamol and had severe liver damage,” said Dr. Lam.

The rate of children with brain damage due to hand, foot and mouth is not too high. However, If the child has severe complications due to delayed treatment, it will cause brain stem damage, severe sequelae such as encephalitis, cardiovascular disease, pulmonary edema. acute… In the fulminant form, the disease can cause severe condition for the patient and death if not taken care and treated promptly.

Category: Medical News

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