20 HCMC children die of hand-foot-mouth disease

The death of a child with the hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) a few days ago has taken the toll among children in Ho Chi Minh City to 20.

So far this year, 25 children with HFMD died at the Pediatrics Hospital I, said Dr Truong Huu Khanh, head of the Infectious Diseases Department of the hospital.

The death toll at the Pediatrics Hospital II and the Tropical Diseases Hospital are 17 and 4 respectively.

Of the total 46 dead children, 20 are from HCMC.

From July 7 to 13, the city had 620 children infected by the disease.

The pandemic is developing complicatedly, Dr Khanh said.

Currently, the number of children treated for HFMD at the Pediatrics Hospital I is 170 per day on average, he said.

On July 14, a child from the southern province of An Giang died at the hospital.

On July 15, a 12-month-old Khmer child was hospitalized in critical condition.

Meanwhile, the Pediatrics II Hospital receives 60 new cases every day. Two died of the disease last week, a doctor said.

In general, the epidemic had slightly slowed down compared to previous periods but it was hard to predict in the coming time, especially when preschools start their new school year next month, Nguyen Dac Tho, deputy head of the HCMC Preventive Health Center, said.

Since a few days ago, many preschools in the city, especially in District 8, have closed due to the outbreaks of HFMD.

Trieu Tuan, head of the District 8 Education and Training Department, said some 10 children had contracted the disease in the last month.

From now until August 20, about 30 state-owned preschools in the district may have to be closed due to the spread of disease, he said.

The Ministry of Education and Training had ordered educational agencies to take necessary measures to contain and prevent the disease, he said.

It said when two students in a class contract the disease, the class had to be closed for 10 days.

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