Wednesday, April 26, 2006

HFMD- Awareness campaign works or virus dying off?

Whatever it is, I was happy that HPB actually came up with the awareness campaign on the recent HFMD outbreak. I don't remember they had it last year.

This year, after my girl's 2 weeks self-quarantine, we went back to the school. And was pleasantly surprised that brochures were given out to all parents (obviously I was late in receiving it). A small table was set up near the main entrance to check and send back kids there and then. So in other words, a child who can be unknowingly infected do not mingle around with other healthy kids. I think it's good, and they even bar parents from going into the class sections.
Last week, after I manage to get my break without girl's Richard Scarry & dunno what nots VCDs, I saw a advertorial on that.At least it's reaching out to more audiences.

What's more happy to know is the report from Straits Times yesterday.

Extracted from : April 26, 2006
HFMD cases dip sharply this month

THE number of people infected by hand, foot and mouth disease has almost halved from a high of 784 cases last month to 399 cases this month.

Since the HFMD Task Force stepped up measures to combat the infectious childhood disease last month, the number of cases has dropped steadily in the past five weeks, said the Ministry of Health in a statement yesterday.

Last week, 52 children were seen for HFMD at the A&E departments of KK Women's and Children's Hospital and National University Hospital. At its peak this year, the two hospitals saw 126 cases in the week ending March 25.

As part of preventive measures, the task force has worked with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports to tighten guidelines for preschool, kindergarten and childcare centre closures to check transmissions.

HFMD cannot be eradicated but its spread can be slowed by good hygiene. Doctors have also been asked to be more vigilant in looking out for children with the disease.

The Ministry of Health has called for continued vigilance at schools, and has advised parents to take their children to a doctor if they show symptoms of the disease, including fever, mouth ulcers and rashes on the palms, soles or buttocks.

Although HFMD is usually mild, the current strain of the infection is the more deadly enterovirus-71, which killed seven children here in the 2000-2001 outbreak.


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