UPDATED 13 Feb 2019: Childcare centres in Singapore affected by HFMD

UPDATED 13 Feb 2019: Childcare centres in Singapore affected by HFMD

UPDATED: 13 February 2019

We’ve been hearing a lot about Hand Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD) lately, especially since our neighboring country Malaysia has been badly affected by an outbreak of it. They’ve even reported their first death – a 17-month-old toddler. 

Over here in Singapore, the threat of HFMD is imminent. According to a Channel NewsAsia report, more than 25,000 cases of HFMD were reported during the first 29 weeks of 2018. This is a 28 per cent increase compared to the same period last year.

The Ministry Of Health (MOH) provides regularly updated lists of childcare centres and kindergartens in Singapore where cases of HFMD among children have already been reported. 

HFMD in singapore childcare

HFMD In Singapore Childcare Centres: The most telling symptom of HFMD is a bright red rash

HFMD In Singapore Childcare Centres: MOH Releases List

The following are childcare centres and kindergartens with more than 10 HFMD cases or an attack rate* greater than 13%, and a transmission period of more than 16 days (prolonged transmission), says the MOH. 

The MOH often updates a list so that parents “can be more aware of whether the childcare centre/kindergarten their child is attending has prolonged HFMD transmission”. This, in turn, will help them monitor their little ones for signs and symptoms of HFMD. 

* Attack rate is calculated based on the number of HFMD cases divided by the total enrolment of the childcare centre/kindergarten, as per the MOH. 

Here’s the only childcare centre affected as of February 2019: 

  • My First Skool @ 2 Punggol Drive – Blk 2 Punggol Drive S(828803)

The good news is that no kindergartens are affected. 

So far, no childcare centres and kindergartens in Singapore have been closed. However, if they are required to close down for 10 days in order to break the chain of infection, parents will be warned in advance. 

Childcare centres and kindergartens will be assessed for closure when they hit the following triggers, says the MOH:

Transmission period > 24 days with number of cases > 16  OR Transmission period > 24 days with attack rate > 23%.

Keeping Your Kids And Others Safe From HFMD

Good personal and environmental hygiene are key to preventing this disease. Ensure your children: 

  • 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.

The MOH advises that, 

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 public or crowded places. Proper hygiene should also be practised at home so as to prevent transmission to other family members.

Source: Ministry Of Health, Singapore

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