Hand-foot-and-Mouth-Disease cases on rise in Baramulla, 300 children affected

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There has been a surge in cases of Hand-foot-and-Mouth Disease (HFMD) in Baramulla district, as per doctors. HFMD is a mild contagious viral infection which mostly affects children below 10 years of age.
Caused by the Coxsackievirus, the disease mostly affects infants and children younger than ten years, having symptoms of fever followed by sore throat and poor appetite. A rash of flat red spots that may blister on the palm of the hands, soles of the feet and sometimes on the knees, elbows, buttocks and genital area is common among the affected persons.
As per records in Baramulla district hospital, about 300 children affected by HFMD disease have visited the hospital since the last couple of months. “Though children affected with the Coxsackievirus during these months is common, but this time we are witnessing a surge in such cases which is unusual,” said Dr Amjad, a dermatologist in Baramulla district hospital.
He said although there is no specific vaccine to protect against HFMD, the risk of getting infected with the virus that causes HFMD can be reduced by taking precautions like washing hands with soap, especially after changing diapers of children.
He said the disease is contagious in nature and spreads through close contact, coughing and sneezing, contact with feces, and while changing diaper of a child. Older children and some adults can also get infected with the disease. “Since the disease is contagious and can spread fast, it is advisable to maintain hygiene and not send children affected with the disease to schools till they recover from the illness,” the dermatologist cautioned, adding that the mild viral infection can be treated in time and does not last for more than a week. “However, it is extremely important not to allow affected children to get in contact with other children.”

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