Hand, foot and mouth disease forces closure, class suspensions in 29 Bangkok schools


BANGKOK, July 17 – Twenty-nine schools run by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) were closed Tuesday due to the spread of the hand, foot and mouth disease, according to a senior BMA Department of Health official.

Communicable Disease Control Division director Wongwat Liulak said that 18 schools are totally closed while 11 schools suspended some classes after students were infected with the hand, foot and mouth disease.

He said that in the Bangkok area from January to July 16, 2,322 patients were diagnosed as infected with hand, foot and mouth disease, higher than the previous year, but there has been no report of any death.

Dr Wongwat said that the division has coordinated with all BMA schools and nursery schools to determine if any children or pupils had developed suspicious symptoms, and if so, to immediately report to the nearest BMA health centre.

An emergency mobile team would quickly investigate the case, he said.

All schools and kindergarten are asked to alert nearby healthcare centres if any of their children are found to have been infected, he said. In addition, disinfection would be carried out to ensure that toys, toilet and personal items are free of the disease.

Teachers are instructing students to wash their hands with soap and having properly cooked food.