Children are treating at a hospital in Hanoi (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – Doctors called for better personal hygiene and nutrition among children to prevent and fight against hand-foot-mouth disease, especially during the period from March to May, which typically sees the biggest spread of the disease each year in Vietnam.

According to Hanoi’s Medical Preventive Department, since the beginning of this year, more than 200 cases of hand-foot-mouth disease were reported in the city.

Since last month, the number of cases has increased.

The Kinh te & Do thi (Economic and Urban Affairs) newspaper reported that last week, more than 600 hand-foot-mouth disease cases were reported across the country, 23 percent higher than that of the same period last year.

Dr Ngu Duy Nghia from the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology said that hand-foot-mouth disease is a common viral illness among children that affects the respiratory and digestive systems, making it spread easily.

The disease peaks during two periods - from March to May, and from September to November – with changes in the weather creating favourable conditions for the development of viruses and bacteria, major causes for many child diseases.

Nghia said most children with hand-foot-mouth virus recover after seven to ten days, but the EV71 virus can cause dangerous complications in children.

Director of the Hanoi Medical Preventive Department Nguyen Nhat Cam said that maintaining good personal hygiene and washing hands properly - not only children, but also caregivers – is the most effective way to prevent hand-foot-mouth disease.

Houses, schools and children’s toys must be cleaned regularly, he said.

Children with symptoms of hand-foot-mouth disease like fever, mouth sores or skin rashes should be separated from others until the symptoms disappear, Cam said.

Former Director of the Nutrition Consultation Centre under the National Institute of Nutrition Le Thi Hai said that children with hand-foot-mouth disease should drink fruit juice, particularly orange, grapefruit, carrot, tomato and watermelon.

She said they should eat seafood and chicken to add more zinc, a mineral good for their health.

In the first nine months of last year, the country recorded more than 34,300 cases of hand, foot and mouth disease, and five resulted in deaths.-VNA