Fears of HFMD outbreak in Phuket

PHUKET: With more than 70 children in Phuket having contracted Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD) already this year, Phuket City Municipality has issued an advisory urging parents to beware of the highly contagious malaise.

Nittaya Panchamedithee, an officer at the municipality’s health section, said, “There is more chance of an outbreak in the rainy season as the virus can live longer when the weather is cool and humid.”

The onset of the rainy season also coincides with the start of the first school semester, which also makes it easy for the virus to spread, she said.

Ms Nittaya urged parents to keep an eye on all children, especially those under three years old and infants.

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Indications of the disease include fever, loss of appetite, lethargy, coughing, a sore throat, vomiting and diarrhea. The disease is most often identified by mouth ulcers and rashes on the hands and feet.

Parents whose children exhibit any of these conditions are urged to seek medical treatment as soon as possible, and not to allow their children to go to school, said the release.

Teachers were also urged to be vigilant against an outbreak.

School administrators should suspend any classes with two or more children found to have HFMD, and any schools with five or more children diagnosed with the disease should be closed temporarily.

For more information, call the the Phuket City Municipality Health Department on 076-216929/30.

— Sitthipong Nongkaew

Phuket News
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