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Hand-foot-and-mouth disease spreads in capital

  • Mohammad Al Amin
  • 10 September, 2022 12:00 AM
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Hand-foot-and-mouth disease spreads in capital

A highly contagious hand, foot and mouth disease has spread in the capital as a number of children have already been infected with the viral disease.

Amid increasing numbers of hand, foot, and mouth disease, many schools in the capital have also put an alert on the disease due to its spread among children.

 "We are getting many hand, foot, and mouth disease patients at the Out Patient Department of our hospital nowadays. There is nothing to be worried about the disease as it has mild symptoms like fever," Prof. Dr. Md. Jahangir Alam, director of Bangladesh Shishu Hospital & Institute, told the Daily Sun.

Noting that hand, foot, and mouth disease is a highly contagious disease, he advised keeping children with symptoms at home until the disease is completely cured.

"It is a normal viral fever that goes away after seven days. It usually doesn’t need medicine to cure except some drugs for symptoms like fever.  Children infected with the virus should bathe with soap and use ointments," Jahangir Alam said.

The Bangladesh Shishu Hospital Director said there has been an uptick in those affected by hand, foot, and mouth disease caused by two viruses – Coxa B-16 and Echo-71.

Guardian sources said some English-medium schools in the city’s Dhanmondi area have requested the guardians of students that if they notice symptoms of the hand, foot and mouth disease in their child, they would not send their children to school and inform the class teachers immediately.

Doctors say that the viral disease is a mild infection with mild symptoms that are common in young children. Its symptoms include sores in the mouth and a rash on the hands, feet and body.

Prof. Dr. Syed Shafi Ahmed Muaz, former director of Dhaka Shishu Hospital, told the Daily Sun that 4-5 children infected with hand, foot, and mouth disease visit his private chamber in the capital every day.

"The patients are children under 10 years of age. The disease's symptoms include a mild fever,      rash or blisters on the body, and a sore throat. However, the symptoms of the disease are mild, but it is highly contagious," the child specialist said.

According to doctor sources, blisters similar to chicken pox have been reported more frequently in Dhaka and its surrounding areas.

According to a study, in recent years, Bangladesh has faced cases of hand, foot, and mouth disease. Though it is a mild disease, in rare cases, it may develop neurological complications.

Early detection and good clinical assessment can prevent the fatal progression and also can reduce morbidity and mortality regarding it.

The US CDC said hand, foot, and mouth disease is common in infants and children younger than 5 years old. Most children have mild symptoms for 7 to 10 days.

Symptoms of hand, foot, and mouth disease usually include fever, mouth sores, and skin rash. The rash is commonly found on the hands and feet, it said.

The US CDC suggested washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds after to prevent the disease. If soap and water are not available, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer can be used.

It also suggested to clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and shared items, to avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth and to avoid close contact with sick people to prevent the disease.

World Health Organisation (WHO) said hand, foot and mouth disease is a common infectious disease that occurs most often in children, but can also occur in adolescents and occasionally in adults.

The WHO said in most cases, the disease is mild and self limiting, with common symptoms including fever, painful sores in the mouth, and a rash with blisters on hands, feet and buttocks. However, more severe symptoms such as meningitis, encephalitis and polio-like paralysis may occur.