Ev­ery­one at the risk

Bhutan Times - - Editorial -

The out­breaks of Hand, Foot and Mouth ( HFMD) were ini­tially re­ported from two schools in Thim­phu on 19th March 2016 . The Depart­ment of Pub­lic Health un­der the Min­istry of Health has con­firmed the out­breaks of HFMD. Till date from 19th of March till 31st of March, the Depart­ment has re­ceived re­ports of out­breaks of HFMD from Thim­phu, Tashigang, Wangdi pho­drang, Mon­gar and Bumthang Dzongkhags. The re­ports are from four schools in Thim­phu, and one each in the other Dzonkhags.

The Min­istry of Health had in­formed all the Dzongkhag health of­fi­cers of the 20 dis­tricts of the on­go­ing HFMD in Thim­phu on 28th March 2016. The Dzongkhags health sec­tors are mon­i­tor­ing the situation closely and tak­ing the nec­es­sary ac­tions to pre­vent fur­ther spread. The Min­istry of Health is mon­i­tor­ing the situation closely and the pub­lic will be up­dated reg­u­larly. Till 31 March, no more new cases from the schools pre­vi­ously re­port­ing HFMD in Thim­phu

A to­tal of six cases were no­ti­fied from the two schools in Thim­phu, Lit­tle Dragon School with five cases and Early Learn­ing Cen­tre with one case on the date of the out­break. How­ever on the 21st of March, 2016, 12 new cases were re­ported from the Lit­tle Dragon School. Pelkhil School re­ported 60 sus­pected case of HFMD on the 24th of March.

The first case of out­break of HFMD out­side Thim­phu was from Nob­d­ing Lower Sec­ondary School un­der Dangchu BHU, Wangdi Pho­drang on the 26th of March and Bikhar Lower Sec­ondary School un­der Bikhar BHU, Tashigang no­ti­fied some cases on the 28th March. Ling­methang Pri­mary School un­der Lingmithang BHU, Mon­gar no­ti­fied cases three days later.

The lat­est one is re­ported at Hejo with two cases of a stu­dent and three year of a civil ser­vant and last Fri­day Changiji satel­lite clinic re­ported one case

HFMD is mod­er­ately con­ta­gious. In­fec­tion is spread from per­son- to-per­son by di­rect con­tact with nose and throat dis­charges, saliva, fluid from blis­ters, or the stool of in­fected per­sons. A per­son is most con­ta­gious dur­ing the first week of the ill­ness. HFMD is not trans­mit­ted to or from pets or other an­i­mals.

The pa­tient has to al­low blis­ters to dry out nat­u­rally. The blis­ters should not be de­lib­er­ately burst be­cause the fluid within them is in­fec­tious. The skin rash may last for seven to ten days. Viruses that cause HFMD can be ex­creted in stool for upto six weeks and in throat se­cre­tions for up to two weeks. There­fore hand wash­ing and hand hy­giene is ex­tremely im­por­tant.

The risk of in­fec­tion can be low­ered by good, hy­giene prac­tices and prompt med­i­cal at­ten­tion for chil­dren show­ing se­vere symp­toms. In or­der to keep the dis­ease at bay proper san­i­ta­tion and pre­ven­tive mea­sures must be fol­lowed at all times.

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