Hand, foot, mouth disease spreads

When four-year-old Naveen became feverish one night, his mother thought it was a virus doing the rounds. But when she saw blisters popping up on his little palms, feet and tongue, she rushed him to a paediatrician who diagnosed the condition as hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD).

A syndrome caused by a type of intestinal virus, HFMD is quite common among children in monsoon. However, there is a sudden increase in its incidence in the city this year. "Of every 10 patients I get, two have it. The disease is seasonal. Usually when schools reopen, we get such cases. But this year there is a definite rise," said Dr Mallikarjuna Swamy, chief paediatrician, BGS Global Hospitals.

Dr N Karthik Nagesh, head, neonatal paediatrics, Manipal Hospitals, said he is seeing four to five HFMD cases per day since the past one month.

The spurt has schools worried, with some even dashing off circulars to parents on how to handle the condition. "The disease was reported in at least four of our centres. Children below five years are more prone to infections. We have trained our staff on maintaining hygiene on the school premises," said the head of a chain of prominent preschools in the city. The disease spreads through contact and saliva. It'll cure by itself: Doctors said the disease is self-limiting, hence there is no need to panic.

"It spreads through contact, and it can spread fast in our smallsized classrooms where more children are packed. The child recovers in five to seven days," said Dr Nagesh.

Similar Threads: