Anti HFMD sprays not regulated by HSA, caution urged
Anti HFMD sprays seem to be the latest invention. But are they really effective? What's the truth behind these products? Parents, please read...
The increasing number of HFMD cases in childcare centres and kindergartens has been worrying for us parents.
According to MOH's Weekly Infectious Disease Bulletin, there have been 27,449 HFMD cases in Singapore so far in 2018, as compared to 21,249 cases over the same period in 2017.
As far as we know, our best defence against HFMD is to practice good general hygiene. Also, stay indoors when sick, in order to avoid spreading the bug.
But now, some people have claimed to have "invented" anti HFMD sprays! Are these sprays really effective? What's the truth behind them?
Anti-HFMD Sprays: What They Claim
In Malaysia, makers of Anti HFMD Spray, THYMOS, claim that the spray kills 99.99% of HFMD and even H1N1 viruses!
According to their website, THYMOS uses "clinically proven alcohol and fragrance free technology that generates bacteriostatic electrons and anions to form a shield all day long."
They even claim that the "shield lasts up to 10 days in a single spray"!
Here is their video:
Anti-HFMD Sprays: Not regulated by HSA
Meanwhile, both the MOH and the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) have refuted the claims made by these Anti HFMD spray companies.
In a joint statement given to Mothership, they have clarified that, “The product Thymos Anti Hand Food Mouth Disease (HFMD) Spray is not a health product regulated by the Health Sciences Authority.
"We advise members of the public to exercise discretion when purchasing unregulated products online that may carry exaggerated and extreme health claims."
In Malaysia too, Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah has said, "The manufacturer’s claim is unfounded because there is no strong evidence that such claims are effective as labelled."
Mums and dads, for the safest and most effective techniques to prevent HFMD:
- Frequently wash hands with soap e.g. before eating and after going to the toilet.
- Cover mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, and throw the tissue away into a bin immediately.
- Do not share food/drinks, eating utensils, toothbrushes or towels with others.
- Parents should consult a doctor early if their child has fever, mouth ulcers and rashes on the palms, soles or buttocks.
- Children with HFMD should remain at home until all the blisters have dried up. During this period, contact with other children should be avoided until the child recovers.
- The child should not be brought to any crowded places. Proper hygiene should also be practised at home so as to prevent transmission to other family members.