Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD) is an infection caused by a group of viruses which includes enteroviruses, coxsackie viruses, echoviruses and polioviruses.
According to MyHealth Portal, among the viruses, enterovirus 71 (EV 71) and coxsackie virus A16 are the most common pathogens.
It also added that anyone is susceptible to the disease however children under the age of five are the most vulnerable to the disease.
Signs and symptoms of HFMD
It begins with fever, feeling sick with poor appetite. One to two days later, painful ulcers develop in the mouth. Some children have red spots developing on their palms or soles, which may turn into blisters.
This skin rash may sometimes occur on the knees, elbows or buttock of the child. This skin rash is usually not itchy.
The symptoms vary among infected children. While some children develop the typical signs and symptoms, others may just have the skin rash or mouth ulcers.
Some infected children experience no signs and symptoms.
This contagious disease spreads through coughing or sneezing, close contact, contact with the blister fluid or faeces, sharing of eating utensils or personal belongings such as towels, toothbrush and touching of contaminated surfaces or objects.
Ministry of Health, on its website dated June 2012, advised members of the public to take precautions in order to prevent the outbreak of HFMD.
The public is advised to keep good personal hygiene and area cleanliness.
Parents and caretakers are also urged to avoid public spaces and seek immediate treatment if their children show signs and symptoms of the disease.
Child care centre operators are also advised to have their premises cleaned and should screen children under their care.
By Nadia Jumri
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