Mass cleanup in Rayong after 384 infected with hand, foot & mouth disease

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Rayong officials launched a large-scale cleanup after nearly 400 people were diagnosed with hand, foot and mouth disease, including a Cambodian toddler who later died.

The July 27 operation, which stressed the importance of maintaining personal hygiene to prevent further spread of the Enterovirus 71 illness, saw the disinfecting of toys and school equipment. Students were also educated on the disease, with hopes they would pass the information on to their families. Most HFMD victims are children.

Officials in Rayong are working to stem the spread of hand, foot and mouth disease. Officials in Rayong are working to stem the spread of hand, foot and mouth disease.

The Cambodian child, 2-year-old Kimha, died at Klaeng Hospital July 26 after being ill for about five days. He’d been seen twice at a local clinic, which failed to correctly diagnose the disease. The boy’s play friends are under watch to determine if they also contracted the disease, which reports that one indeed is.

More than 16,800 people in Thailand have been diagnosed with HFMD, including 384 discovered in Rayong and 98 in Chantaburi. In Rayong, about 20 cases per day are being reported.

Krit Pansuthi of the Rayong Public Health Office said village chiefs and community leaders have been asked to help check area children for telltale symptoms of the disease, such as rash or red spots.

Hand, foot, and mouth disease is a common viral illness that usually affects infants and children younger than 5 years old. However, it can sometimes occur in adults. Symptoms include fever, blister-like sores in the mouth, and a skin rash. The disease is caused by viruses that belong to the Enterovirus group, which includes polioviruses, coxsackieviruses, echoviruses, and enteroviruses. The current outbreak is caused by Enterovirus 71.