Everyone at the risk
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.