ATTENTION DADDY MUMMY : Kids Are Now Back-to-School

By Alpro Pharmacy

June 14, 2022

          Kids are now back to school, still, worrying about Hand Foot Mouth Disease (HFMD) virus? HFMD cases are everywhere.

          To protect your children by keeping their surroundings safe and clean. Wash hands frequently with soap and sanitizes when you’re outside.

          Dots, dots, and more dots. The rash and bumps covering your hands, feet, and the inside of your mouth don’t look like chickenpox. Nope, you have a case of hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD).

          For the first four months of 2022, Malaysian health officials have reported a total of 47,209 cases of HFMD cases recorded in Malaysia up to the 20th Epidemiology week compared to 2,237 cases recorded in 2021 for the same period with most cases involving children aged 6 and below. According to our Health director-general Tan Sri Dr. Noor Hisham Abdullah, the increase of 106.6% from the 19th epidemiology week (4239 cases) to 57510 cases for the 20th epidemiology week was expected due to the movement of people during the Hari Raya celebration.

What is HFMD?

          HFMD is a viral illness caused mainly by Coxsackievirus A6, Enterovirus 71 (EV-A71), and Coxsackievirus A16. Coxsackievirus A16 is most common in young children, especially those under 5 years old as they have not built up the same immunity levels most adults have. HFMD can leave a rash or blisters on your hands, feet, and mouth. Some may also have bumps on their elbows, knees, or buttocks.

          The incubation period for HFMD is 3 – 6 days. Most children have mild symptoms for 7 to 10 days. Infected people are most contagious during the first week of illness, but the virus can stay in the respiratory tract and shed for several weeks after a person recovers and HFMD can be spread through feces up to several months after recovery. It’s also possible to have HFMD and not be symptomatic, particularly for adults. Asymptomatic carriers of HFMD can still spread the illness.

What are the symptoms of HFMD?

          HFMD starts with cold-like symptoms such as fever, sore throat, and runny nose. Then, blisters appear on the hands and/or feet and in the mouth as well. Some of the other symptoms include:

  • Flat red spots that rash on hands, feet, and sometimes buttocks, knees, elbows, and / or genitals
  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Reduced appetite

Do take note that your child’s symptoms may not all be present at the same time.

How is HFMD transmitted?

HFMD can be transmitted via the following paths:

  • Respiratory particles (eg. Coughing, sneezing)
  • Fluid from the blisters
  • Feces
  • Saliva
  • Surfaces that have the virus on them

HFMD is very contagious. It can be transmitted to others before you notice the symptoms.

What is the treatment for HFMD?

          If you suspect your child has HFMD, please take him/her to your family doctor. The disease is generally mild but can lead to death if complications occur.

          As HFMD is caused by a virus, antibiotics won’t work to cure it. Instead, ensuring your children have enough hydration is essential. In some cases, HFMD can lead to dehydration especially if one is having a sore throat that decreases the water intake. An oral rehydration solution that has the correct balance of electrolytes can be the perfect choice for rapid rehydration, especially during fever. Wipe down all surfaces that the infected child comes into contact with by using antibacterial disinfectant is very important to keep the disease from spreading to other family members. Besides that, do regularly wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer for proper disinfection.

Protect your children against HFMD

          Having HFMD once does not make you immune to it, as there are other strains of viruses that can cause HFMD.

          As HFMD is spread via respiratory route as well as fecal-oral route, good hygiene is the best way to prevent the spread and re-infection of HFMD. Keeping hand sanitizer close to your kids is important and teach them to use it when they touch any surfaces at school or kindergarten. Practicing changing the facemask every 4 hours is a good hygiene practice to prevent the spread of HFMD.

          Building up your child’s immune system also helps to fight against viruses. Studies have found that Tiger Milk Mushroom (TMM) is able to boost our immune system’s second line of defence in order to fight off bacteria and viruses. TMM also boasts antioxidant effects which can reduce oxidative stress levels, and thus be beneficial for the body and immune system to function optimally.

Hand, foot, and mouth disease aren’t fun, and it isn’t pretty, thus prevention is always better than cure. Click the button below to view Back-To-School CheckList!

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact our pharmacists via FB Messenger or contact our epharmacy service.

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