As per reports, weekly number of HFMD in Singapore have hit their highest since June 2016.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) has advised caution, and urged parents to keep their kids away from school and other crowded places if they are showing Hand Foot Mouth Disease (HFMD) symptoms.
HFMD in Singapore peaks
Weekly numbers of HFMD in Singapore have been increasing. According to the MOH, in the week ending Mar 10, 1105 HFMD cases had been reported.
This means a 42% increase from the week before, and a 65% increase from two weeks before.
The last time we witnessed such high weekly numbers was in 2016, when they had gone up to as high as 1344 in May.
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What to do in case of HFMD
Children with HFMD will have blister-like or pimple-like rash on their hands, feet and buttocks, mouth ulcers and fever. The child may also have a sore throat, runny nose, experience vomiting and diarrhoea, and may feel tired.
It is important to remember that HFMD is a viral infection, so there is no specific treatment, apart from intake of fluids and controlling the fever. Children usually recover within a week’s time.
Parents, here is what you need to remember:
- Encourage fluid intake: The blisters in the mouth make eating and swallowing painful for the child, and kill his appetite. So it’s all the more important that the child takes as much oral fluids as possible, to prevent dehydration.
Offer small amounts of fluid (about 10 – 30 ml each time) like diluted juices, rice or barley water every half hourly throughout the day.
Bring your child to the Children’s Emergency if you notice:
1. That the oral intake of fluids is poor, or the child is unable to swallow, or vomits persistently.
2. When the tongue is dry, or when the child has decreased urine output (dehydration).
3. If the child appears lethargic, drowsy or irritable, is crying persistently, or is disorientated.
4. When seizures occur.
5. If there is difficulty in breathing.
6. If the child looks ashen, pale or blue.
7. If the child complains of acute headache or giddiness, or if there is neck stiffness.
- Stay away from school: HFMD is easily spread through direct contact with nose discharge, saliva, faeces and fluid from the blisters.
Hence, the infected child should not be allowed to go to school, childcare centres and other crowded places, until he has fully recovered and for at least 1 week after the start of the illness.
- Practise good general hygiene: Wash your hands immediately after contact with the infected child or handling diaper changes, and before handling food.
The virus can continue to be shed in stools up to 12 weeks in an infected child so practice good hand hygiene when changing diapers for the infected child.
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, and throw the tissue away into a bin immediately.
Prevent other children in the house from sharing toys, books, eating utensils, towels, clothes and other personal items used by the infected child.
- Pregnant women who get HFMD may experience miscarriage, stillbirth or even severe disease in the newborn.
Pregnant women should practise good hand hygiene by washing their hands after each contact with the infected child, and preferably wear a surgical mask when in close contact with the child.
(Source: Channel NewsAsia)