CHAIYAPHUM, 15 July 2012 – The Chaiyaphum Provincial Public Health Office revealed that the number of children in the province afflicted with hand-foot-mouth syndrome has already exceeded 171, but the strain of disease is not fatal. The office has ordered close monitoring as well as vigilant cleanliness at nurseries, as there are fears the virus will mutate and lead to child fatalities.
Dr. Churat Khusakulrat, Chaiyaphum’s chief health officer, stated that the testing of cases of Cambodian children suffering from hand-foot-mouth syndrome, of which there have been 60 fatalities, revealed they had been inflicted with enterovirus 71, a virulent strain that can cause death. This particular strain has not been detected in Thailand; the strain found in the kingdom is Coxsackie virus 61, a mild strain that often sees outbreaks in Chaiyaphum province.
Child patients range from infants to three years of age, and present with fevers, drooling, small ulcers in the mouth, on the fingers, and toes. The symptoms are not severe and will usually clear up on their own in 3 to 5 days. However, if the patient runs a high fever for more than 3 days, experiences headaches, shortness of breath, insomnia or convulsions, is fidgety, vomits, has nerve problems, experiences facial palsy, or has respiratory failure, he/she should seek immediate medical attention, or the case may become fatal.