Public Health Ministry orders nationwide emergency surveillance of Hand-Foot-Mouth outbreak

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BANGKOK, 11 July 2012  – The Public Health Ministry has instructed health offices nationwide to watch out for the possible outbreak of the Hand-Foot-and-Mouth disease outbreak.

Permanent Secretary for Public Health, Dr. Paijit Warachit, said that the Ministry, on Tuesday, sent out emergency letters to all provincial health offices, ordering nationwide surveillance of the outbreak of the Hand-Foot-Mouth disease among young children.

Dr. Paijit stated that even though Thailand remains safe, the Public Health Ministry will not lower its guard and is urging all healthcare offices, particularly pediatricians along the Thai-Cambodian border to thoroughly check their patients, in accordance with standard medical practices, to prevent the spread of the disease.

According to the Public Health Ministry Permanent Secretary, the severity of the Hand-Foot-Mouth disease findings in Thailand has been low, with 10,813 children infected with the virus this year and no death reported.

During the past 3 months, 62 young Cambodians have been killed by a severe strain of Hand-Foot-and-Mouth virus.

In addition, Dr. Paijit has instructed provincial health officers to child care centers and kindergartens to give advice on how to effectively sterilize their utensils and facilities and to educate young children about hand sanitation, in a bid to prevent the Hand-Foot-Mouth disease.