HCMC – The Ministry of Health has urged local authorities to be on the alert for hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) as HFMD cases have kept rising, mainly in the southern region.
The ministry said that Vietnam has reported 5,545 HFMD cases, including one fatality in the south-central province of Binh Thuan, in the year to date, down over 83% in the case number and down nine deaths against the 2021 figures.
However, the number of new HFMD cases is increasing, mostly in southern provinces such as HCMC, Dong Nai, Binh Duong, and Soc Trang.
According to the ministry, HFMD is endemic in Vietnam, which means it can occur all year round. It is a highly contagious disease and can cause outbreaks and deaths among young children. Cases usually soar from September to November.
To prevent transmission of the disease, minimize HFMD deaths, and curb outbreaks, the Health Ministry asked local governments to team up with local health authorities to take preventive measures and focus on highly vulnerable areas.
Provincial health departments were told to closely monitor the development of the disease, timely handle fresh outbreaks, reinforce mobile teams for prevention and control of the disease, and provide support for grassroots-level health authorities to cope with the disease.
Further, localities have to make preparations in terms of funding, medicines, medical supplies to serve the treatment of the disease.
Provincial health and education departments must join forces to raise awareness about the disease at schools, especially day care centers and kindergartens.