All cases reported in 4-5 age group children, say officials
Srinagar, Sep 30: At least 13 cases of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) were been reported at a school in Srinagar following which authorities issued a health advisory.
A top official of Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme(IDSP) said that 13 students have got affected so far and all are in the age group of 4 to 5 years.
School administration was briefed properly about all the guidelines and they were asked to report immediately there are any more such cases, he said.
All these viral illnesses are self-limiting and isolation, proper hygiene, Cough etiquette, hand washing is key to success, he said, adding that tomato flu is a variant of HFMD.
“Disease (HFMD) Hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) is a human syndrome caused by Intestinal viruses of the Picornaviridae family,” reads an advisory issued by Directorate of Health Services Kashmir
The most common strains causing HFMD are Coxsackie A virus and Enterovirus71 (EV71) and it is a common viral illness of infants and children (less than 10 year olds) and is extremely uncommon in adults,” it said, adding that Coxsackie virus A16 produce Mild Infection HFMD and Enterovirus 71 produce HFMD with severe neurologic involvement including fatal encephalitis.”
The advisory reads that the infection is spread from person to person by direct contact with infectious virus which is found in the nose and throat secretions, saliva, blister fluid, and stool of infected persons and Incubation Period is 3-7 days
The common symptoms are, fever, sore throat, headache, ulcers in mouth, throat and tongue, loss of appetite etc.
“There is no specific treatment for HFMD Fever should be treated with antipyretics, Pain can be relieved with acetaminopherubruprofen, or other over-the-counter pain relievers, Mouth washes or sprays that numb pain can be used to lessen mouth pain, Fluid intake should be emphasized to prevent dehydration, If moderate to severe dehydration develops, intra-venous fluids can be administered and HFMD is disease that is self limiting and takes its own time to subside, many doctors do not prescribe medicine for this illness, unless the infection is severe Infection in children, adolescents, and adults is normally very mild and lasts around 3 days or sometimes less,” it adds.
The advisory said that no vaccine is available to protect against the enteroviruses that cause HFMD. “In order to prevent disease from spreading, Washing hands frequently and correctly especially after changing diapers and after using the toilet, Children should be kept away from crowded public places (such as schools, preschools. Play groups, markets and public transport) if they show signs of infection persons with HFMD, Cleaning dirty surfaces and soiled items, including toys, first with soap and water and then disinfecting them by cleansing with a solution of chlorine bleach (made by adding 1tablespoon of bleach to 4 cups of water; larger quantities can be made by adding, cup of bleach to 1 gallon [16 cups] of water), avoiding close contact (kissing, hugging sharing eating utensils and cups, etc.) are of utmost importance,” it reads.
Meanwhile, district surveillance unit IDSP, Srinagar has issued another advisory regarding HFMD/Tomato Flu (Hand Foot Disease and Mouth Disease).
“The best solution for prevention is maintenance of proper hygiene and sanitization of the surrounding necessities and environment as well as preventing the infected child from sharing toys, clothes, food, or other items with other non-infected children,” the advisory said. “Avoid immediate contact with the infected person, educate your child about the signs and symptoms and its side effects, tell your child not to hug or touch children having fever or rash symptoms, You should encourage your children about hygiene maintenance and stopping thumb or finger sucking habits, Encourage the child to use a handkerchief in case of running nose or coughing to avoid the spread of the disease and don’t scratch or rub the blister and wash every time you touch these blister.”
It said that try to keep hydrated “your child by motivating them to drink plenty of water, milk, or juice, whatever they prefer, if your child develops symptoms of tomato fever, immediately isolate them from other children to inhibit disease progression, all utensils, clothes, and other utility items (for e.g. bedding) should be separated and sanitized regularly, always use warm water to clean skin or for bathing the child, take a nutrition-rich, balanced diet to boost immunity.”
“It is essential to get enough rest and sleep to promote healing as yet, no antiviral drugs or vaccines are available for the treatment or prevention of tomato flu,” he said.