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Cases of ‘Hand Foot and Mouth disease’ recorded

The Department of Paediatrics of Apollo Bramwell Hospital wishes to notify the Mauritian public that it has recorded several cases related to the Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD).

This is a mild but contagious disease that is due to an infection that usually causes a typical illness, including malaise and rash. “It is most commonly caused by the Coxsackie A16 virus. Some cases are caused by a different, but related, virus called enterovirus 71. Rarely, the same illness is caused by other strains of the Coxsackie virus,” explains Dr Faeza Soobadar, Consultant - Paediatrics/Neonatology at Apollo Bramwell. HFMD most commonly affects children under 10 years of age. Older children and adults are sometimes affected. Adults and older children with HFMD tend to develop a milder form of the illness compared with younger children. “Like many viral infections, the illness often starts with a feeling of being unwell for a day or so.

This might include a high temperature (fever). After this a sore throat commonly occurs, quickly followed by small spots that develop inside the mouth. These soon progress into small mouth ulcers,” Dr Soobadar explains. In about 3 in 4 cases, spots also develop on the skin. This is typically a day or so after the mouth ulcers develop. The spots are small lumps that are a few millimetres in diameter and usually appear on the hands and feet. “Spots sometimes also appear on the buttocks, legs and genitals. They rarely develop on other parts of the body. The spots are similar to chickenpox, but are smaller. Unlike chickenpox, they are not usually itchy but can be quite tender,” she explains. Is hand, foot and mouth disease serious? “Usually not,” Dr Soobadar reassures. “The fever and spots usually clear within a few days. The mouth ulcers can be painful, and may last up to a week.

The sore mouth may make a child down for a few days. Nonetheless, in a very small number of cases, the virus may affect the heart, lung or brain to cause a serious inflammation of the heart, lung or brain, which is fatal in some cases. But it has to be stressed - these serious complications are very rare.” More... NEWS ALERT The incubation period of HFMD is 3-5 days. This means it takes 3-5 days to develop symptoms after being infected from another person. Most cases are passed on by coughing and sneezing which transmits the virus into the air. It is mainly infectious until the spots and mouth ulcers have gone. “However, children can still be mildly infectious for several weeks longer as the virus may be passed out with the faeces (stools) for several weeks after the symptoms have gone,” she says.The disease hit South-East Asian countries, namely Vietnam and Singapore, in epidemic proportions earlier this year.

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Jane and I wanted to thank you so much for the care you and your colleagues took of Jane whist in Mauritius. Everything went well and Prakash did a great job of getting us to your clinic and back over the 6 dialysis days. We had a wonderful holiday and our children and grandchildren plus the other family all enjoyed it enormously. Best wishes to you all

Andrew and Jane Stewart
17.04.2017