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Hand Foot and Mouth Disease in Vietnam

25 July 2011

The Preventive Medicine Department in Ho Chi Minh City reported 17 000 cases of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) across the country, with South Vietnam reporting 13 600 cases alone. Additionally, 90 patients have now succumbed to the disease. The outbreak is believed to be caused by a new aetiological agent, human enterovirus 71 (EV71) of sub-genotype C4.

Advice for Travellers

HFMD is a common viral illness which spreads rapidly among children in particular; outbreaks most often occur in children's nurseries and daycare centres. Transmission is via direct contact with nose and throat secretions and faeces if an infected individual and by aerosol droplet spread. Contact with infected children should be limited and crowded situations avoided; personal hygiene and handwashing is paramount in reducing transmission of the virus.