From the beginning of May, an increase in the number of children with hand, foot and mouth disease has been reported in hospitals across Guangdong.
According to the Guangdong Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the incidences of hand, foot and mouth disease have been increasing since early May, showing the early signs of an epidemic. Experts remind the public that the most dangerous period is likely to be June.
The main pathogen of hand-foot-mouth disease in the province this year is CVA16, the dominant pathogen in 2017 being EV71. "Compared to EV71, CVA16 is less likely to cause severe illness and death, but it is more likely to cause outbreaks of the illness in collective institutions such as kindergartens”, said Yangfen, doctor from provincial disease control and prevention, indicating that this pathogen carries a greater risk of transmission.
Tips for parents
When the child is sick, parents should observe whether the child has a fever or feels chilly, or the body is trembling. If the above symptoms are all found, the child should be immediately taken to hospital for treatment.
Parents and children must develop good hygiene habits. Houses should be always kept clean and well ventilated. Often wash clothes and sheets and try to avoid taking children to crowded and poor ventilated public places. Get enough sleep and maintain a balanced diet.
What’s hand-foot-mouth disease?
Hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) is a common infection caused by a group of viruses. It typically begins with a fever and feeling generally unwell. This is followed a day or two later by flat discolored spots or bumps that may blister, on the hands, feet, and mouth, and occasionally buttocks and groin. Signs and symptoms normally appear 3–6 days after exposure to the virus. The rash generally goes away on its own in about a week. Fingernail and toenail loss may occur a few weeks later, but will regrow with time.
The viruses that cause HFMD are spread through close personal contact, through the air from coughs and sneezes, and via the feces of an infected person. Contaminated objects can also spread the disease.