Hand, foot and mouth disease in Ho Chi Minh City has developed at an alarming rate, with 143 new cases recorded per week on average, the city Health Department said, calling for more efforts to improve the situation.
At yesterday’s meeting on the city’s epidemic, Dr. Nguyen Dac Tho, deputy head of the city Preventive Health Center said HFMD has spread to 211 wards and communes, of which 68 have three or more patients.
| A child with the hand, foot and mouth disease being treated at the Pediatrics Hospital I, HCMC - Photo: Tuoi Tre |
That means 65 percent of the total number of the city’s wards and communes have been affected by the disease, he said.
There have been 963 HFMD patients since the beginning of the year and one of them has died, according to the department’s statistics.
In February alone, 498 children contracted the disease, up 14 percent from January and five times higher than the previous year.
The disease is expected to continue spreading widely this month and over the next two months, Dac said.
In the face of such a serious situation, the Health Department requested all local authorities and health agencies to take urgent measures to prevent the spread of the disease.
The Health Preventive Center will set up six working teams to control and prevent the epidemic in various locations, especially in pre-schools.
These schools are required to ensure hygiene conditions for children, including the cleaning of the premises, tools and toys every day.
School managers should advise parents of children who have contracted HFMD not to let their kids to go to school to prevent the disease from transmitting to other children.
Decontamination by spraying chloramine B must be carried out weekly at the schools.
Schools must report the number of classrooms they have so that the center can provide them with enough chemicals necessary for disinfection.
Nguyen Tan Binh, deputy director of the Health Department, asked the center to submit a plan for controlling and preventing the epidemic before March 15.