Published Date: 2012-03-13 19:45:37
Subject: PRO/EDR> Hand, foot & mouth disease (02): Viet Nam (southern)
Archive Number: 20120313.1069657
HAND, FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE (02): VIET NAM (SOUTHERN)
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Tue 13 Mar 2012
Source: Bikyamasr [edited]
Cases of hand, foot and mouth disease hit record levels in Viet Nam
Cases of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) have surged, infecting nearly 12 400 children and killing 11 in the 1st 2 months of this year, authorities said Tuesday (13 Mar 2012). This figure is 7.5 times higher than the same period last year, according to the Health Ministry's preventive medicine department.
Southern provinces account for the majority of patients, with 19 per 100 000 people infected, said Nguyen Van Binh, head of the department. The virus is transmitted through saliva, blister fluid and feces, but it is rare among adults, whose immune systems are generally strong enough to fight it off [i.e., are more likely to have partial immunity through previous exposure. - Mod.CP].
The disease is life-threatening in a small number of cases, owing to complications such as lung haemorrhages and meningitis. Last year, HFMD killed 166 people in Viet Nam, most of them children. The death toll was 10 times higher than the previous year as a more dangerous strain of the virus became more prevalent.
ProMED-mail from HealthMap alerts
[This report adds little to the previous report from Viet Nam on 21 Feb 2012, other than to reinforce the prediction that a major outbreak of HFMD is underway. The outbreak is still affecting mainly the southern provinces of the country.
A considerable amount of information has been accumulated in recent years about the epidemiology of HFMD and the several different enteric viruses associated with this disease. It is likely that as in previous years in south and east Asia human enterovirus 71 (EV71) will be the predominant etiologic agent, but specific confirmatory information is still lacking.
HFMD is spread from person to person by direct contact with the infectious viruses that cause this disease. These viruses are found in the nose and throat secretions (such as saliva, sputum, or nasal mucus), fluid in blisters, and stool of infected persons. The viruses may be spread when infected persons touch objects and surfaces that are then touched by others. Infected persons are most contagious during the 1st week of the illness. The viruses that cause HFMD can remain in the body for weeks after a person's symptoms have gone away. This means that infected people can still pass the infection to others even though they may appear well. Also, some people who are infected and shedding the virus, including most adults, may have no symptoms. HFMD not transmitted to or from pets or other animals, and is most prevalent where sanitation is poor.
It has been observed that infection with EV71 is occasionally associated with severe neurological disease such as acute encephalitis, acute flaccid paralysis, and cardiopulmonary failure. Recently specific cellular receptors and host factors that enhance EV71 infection and the development of more severe disease have been identified (Yamayoshi S, Fujii K, Koike S. Front Microbiol.; 3:32), 2012).
A map of the provinces of Viet Nam can be accessed at:
http://www.angelfire.com/co/hongnam/vnmap.html. - Mod.CP]