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Published On: Tue, Mar 12th, 2013

Hand-foot-mouth disease spreads in Vietnam, more than 10,000 affected

After reporting more than 150,000 cases of hand-foot-mouth disease (HFMD) last year in Vietnam, health officials report the contagious, childhood viral illness has spread to 60 of the country’s 64 provinces, according to a Xinhua report Tuesday.

Health ministry officials say more than 10,000 people have been affected by HFMD so far this year.

Image/United States Army Center of Military History

Image/United States Army Center of Military History

HFMD is typically a benign and self-limiting disease. Most common in young children, it presents as fever, oral lesions and rash on the hands, feet and buttocks. The oral lesions consist of rapidly-ulcerating vesicles on the buccal mucosa, tongue, palate and gums. The rash consists of papulovesicular lesions on the palms, fingers and soles, which generally persist for seven to 10 days, and maculopapular lesions on the buttocks.

The most common strain of HFMD in Vietnam is EV71.

EV-71 has been implicated in HFMD outbreaks in Southeast Asia over the several years. EV 71 is a non-polio enterovirus.

Complications associated with HFMD caused by the more pathogenic EV-71 strain include encephalitis, aseptic meningitis, acute flaccid paralysis, pulmonary edema or hemorrhage and myocarditis. Most deaths in HFMD occur as a result of pulmonary edema or hemorrhage.

Japan, Macau, South Korea and Singapore have also reported high numbers of new patients.

Vietnam expects an estimated 100,000 patients this year, the health official said.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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