There has been an alarming increase in the number of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) cases in Singapore, with the figures reaching 785, last week . This is twice greater than the number of cases infected the preceding week, said the Health ministry.
An average of 113 and 174 cases of the disease were documented in the months of January and February respectively. A total of 2,64 cases of the HFM disease have been reported since January 2006. 8 HFMD related deaths have been reported in Sarawak region. In Brunei, 1 case of mortality has been reported.
Approximately 8 in 10 cases have been reported in young children, under the age of 6. A majority of these cases are mild infections, mostly occurring in children who attend kindergartens, child-care centers, play schools or other similar pre-schools. Of all the reported case of the HFM disease, only 54 hospital admissions have been reported so far.
Although the number of infected cases is one the rise over the past few weeks, no life-threatening complications such as myocarditis (heart muscle inflammation) and meningitis (inflammation of the brain covering) have been reported so far.
A pre-established that combats the spread of the disease would tighten its guidelines, to bring the situation under control. The outbreak of the disease at baby care centres may necessitate the closing of these childcare centers and kindergarten schools. Such measures would be targeted at fracturing the chain of transmission, in an attempt to prevent spread of HFM.