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New Delhi is witnessing a sudden rise in cases of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD), following which several actions have been taken in a bid to contain the spread of the virus. Several schools have taken measures like issuing advisories for parents, orientation sessions etc. 

On such advisory stated, “It is a common, self- limiting but highly contagious viral disease that usually affects infants and children of less than 5 years old. But, sometimes even older children and adults may be affected." The recent cases of HFMD were reported last week, first among a few students in junior school. Here, is all you need to about the infection:

What is hand, foot and mouth disease?

It is a kind of viral fever that spreads mostly among children, below the age of 10, through contact. The flu causes red blisters on the hands, foot, forearm and mouth, and hence, the name.

What are the symptoms of hand, foot and mouth disease?

People who are infected with the virus develop rashes. Some of them also complain of tiredness, joint pain, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, coughing, sneezing, runny nose, high fever, and body ache.

Is it contagious? What is its treatment?

Yes, it is extremely contagious and spreads through contact. And, so far, no vaccine is available for the virus. 

If someone is infected, then it is necessary for them to remain in isolation. Utensils, clothes and other items used by the infected persons must be sanitised to prevent the flu from spreading.

Following the recent outbreak in Delhi, some schools have advised the parents to check for symptoms of HFMD and inform their respective class teacher if their child is diagnosed with the disease. Further, parents have been asked to not send children to school until rashes have healed completely and fever has subsided for at least 24 hours. “Any child with rash should avail a medical prescription from a consulting doctor stating that he/she is not contagious or infectious if the child is rejoining class before contagious period i.e. 7 days from onset of symptoms, “one of the advisory stated.

 

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