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Health ministry issues advisory against hand-foot-and-mouth disease

The health ministry issued an advisory about hand-foot-and-mouth disease on Sunday. This comes after an outbreak of the disease was reported in different schools in districts like Wangdue Phodrang, Punakha and Zhemgang. According to the Mayo Clinic, the disease is a mild, contagious viral infection in young children. The Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit American academic medical centre focused on integrated health care, education, and research.

Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is characterised by sores in the mouth, and a rash on the hands and feet. It usually begins with a mild fever and runny nose.

About 50 children from an ECCD centre each in Zhemgang and Wangdue Phodrang, and Lobesa Lower Secondary School in Punakha were diagnosed with the disease last month.

In line with the recommendation from the Royal Centre for Disease Control, the district health centres investigated the disease outbreak.

It was discovered that almost all the cases had rashes on the palms, soles, buttocks, throat ulcers, and mild fever.

However, none of them developed complications. The health ministry advises the affected children and others to wash their hands regularly and wear face masks to prevent the disease.

Children and adults are also advised to avoid close contact with those having the contagious viral infection, cover their mouth and nose while coughing, and disinfect the frequently touched objects.

As per the health ministry, the virus which causes hand-foot-and-mouth disease mainly spreads through saliva and stool.

Samten Dolkar

Edited by Pema Lhaden