Hand-foot-mouth disease is being controlled in cities and provinces, the Ministry of Health's Preventive Medicine Department said on Aug. 23.

Figures from the department showed that more than 35,620 people in 59 cities and provinces had contracted the disease so far this year; 83 people had died from the disease.

This was the highest numbers ever and showed a marked increase in central and southern regions since May.

However, the disease is being controlled, the department said.

Central Binh Dinh province Health Department deputy director Le Quang Hung said last week that 38 more cases were found to be infected with the disease in the province, raising the total cases to 117 this year.

Most of the patients were treated and discharged from hospitals but there were 18 seriously affected patients under special care, he said.

In southern An Giang province, there had been 515 cases this year, an increase of 11.4 percent on the corresponding period last year. Most were children under age 9.

In northern Tuyen Quang province, 46 children aged from 8 months to 3 years caught the disease this month. Eight children under age 3 are being treated in northern Ha Nam province's General Hospital.

Tuyen Quang Preventive Medicine Centre doctor Nguyen Van Ngo said most cases were not serious and patients were treated at home.

However, the department still required local authorities to build action plans, including stamping out "hot" spots, cleaning affected areas with chloramine B, improving public awareness on protecting children from the disease and taking proper care of infected children./.