Hand, foot and mouth disease breaks out in the South

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Songkhla – The Office of Disease Prevention and Control in Songkhla province is warning people in southern Thailand to be aware of hand, foot and mouth disease that usually spreads in the rainy season.

According to the report from the ODPC, from 1st January to 18th June 2018, 691 hand, foot and mouth disease patients were identified in the seven provinces of southern Thailand with Songkhla having the highest number of 194 patients.

Dr. Suwich Thammapalo, M.D., the director of ODPC12 said hand, foot, and mouth disease is common in infants and children younger than five years old. The rainy season is the period when the disease often spreads.

Hand, foot and mouth disease is caused by viruses belonging to Enteroviruses group in which the coxsackievirus A16 is the common cause. The disease usually transmits through the air when the infected person coughs or sneezes, in close personal contact with an infected person, and through contact with contaminated objects or surfaces.

A person infected with hand, foot and mouth disease is most contagious during the first week of illness. A fever is often the first sign of the disease, followed by a sore throat and small red spots, often in the back of the mouth, which can become painful and reduce appetite. A rash on the hands and feet may also develop within one or two days. It may also appear on the knees, elbows, buttocks or in the genital area. Adults may become infected and show no symptoms, but they can still pass the virus on to others.

There is no specific treatment for hand, foot and mouth disease. The infected person should be isolated from others and take over-the-counter medications to relieve pain and fever. Frequent hand-washing and avoiding close contact with infected people may help reduce the risk of infection.

People can contact the Department of Disease Control (DDC) via hotline 1422 for further information.