The Ministry of Health on Saturday launched a hygiene campaign to prevent hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD), which has killed 153 people, mostly children, in Vietnam this year.
The campaign called on parents and caregivers to instruct children to frequently wash their hands with soap in an attempt to prevent the HFMD viruses from spreading, the Lao Dong newspaper reported.
The campaign's kick-off ceremony took place in the central province of Ninh Thuan, the first province in Vietnam to have declared the HFMD epidemic.
According to the Health Ministry, HFMD has claimed 153 lives among around 90,190 infections in all parts of the country as of November 15.
Ninety-one percent of the infections and 98 percent of the fatalities occurred in children under five, it said.
In Ninh Thuan Province, four children among 630 infections have died from HFMD.
The most common strains causing HFMD are Coxsackie A virus and Enterovirus 71 (EV-71). HFMD is moderately contagious and is spread through direct contact of the mucus, saliva, or feces of an infected person.