The HCM City Department of Health has asked preventive medicine centres in the 24 districts to clean and disinfect surfaces and objects in kindergartens and households having children under five to check the alarming spread of hand-foot-mouth disease, health officials said.
Le Truong Giang, deputy director of the department, said 600 children were hospitalised in the last two weeks, a three-fold increase year on year.
On Monday alone, 104 children with the disease were admitted to Children's Hospitals No1 and 2.
Of the more than 300 children who were now under treatment, 15 had developed complications and were on respirators.
In HCM City, the disease had claimed 11 lives this year compared to just one in the whole of last year.
The alarming rise was due to a new virus, coxsackie B2, that had appeared in the country and poor sanitation.
The department had sent blood samples of several children who died to a laboratory in Taiwan for testing.
Since there was no vaccine or specific treatment for the contagious viral illness, the best way to prevent the disease was to frequently clean and disinfect surfaces and items around houses and schools.
The department has supplied the disinfectant Surfanios to preventive medicine centres for public disinfection. — VNS