Vietnam Battling Deadly Epidemic of Hand-Foot-Mouth Disease

Posted August 18th, 2011 at 7:15 am (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

Vietnamese health officials are struggling to contain an outbreak of a disease that has killed 81 children and infected tens of thousands more this year.

Health Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien says the nation is under an epidemic of hand, foot and mouth disease, and has ordered state and local officials to launch an aggressive effort to make people more aware of the disease and prevent its spread.

HFMD is a common viral illness among infants and children that causes fever and blister-like eruptions in the mouth. Officials say more than 30,000 children have been infected with HFMD this year, many of them children younger than three years old. Most of the reported cases have been in Vietnam's south.

The European Commission says it will provide $86,000 from its Disaster Relief Emergency Fund to the Vietnamese Red Cross to help control the HFMD epidemic.