Ho Chi Minh City is in the second situation in the hand, foot and mouth epidemic response scenario, with 50-100 hospitalizations/day

Ho Chi Minh City is falling into the second situation in the scenario of responding to the hand, foot and mouth epidemic previously proposed by the Department of Health. Enterovirus 71 causes the disease to be highly virulent and does not cause typical warning symptoms, so parents often miss or mistake the disease.
According to the Department of Health of Ho Chi Minh City, from the beginning of the year until now, Ho Chi Minh City has recorded 7,823 cases of hand, foot and mouth disease . Of these, 2,370 cases required hospitalization and 212 were severe cases (accounting for 8.95%). In week 27 (from July 3 to July 9), the number of cases and hospitalizations due to hand, foot and mouth disease is increasing rapidly. The city recorded 1,614 cases, an increase of nearly 2.5 times compared to the 4-week average.

Currently, the number of examination and treatment cases at children’s hospitals in the area is tending to increase rapidly and greatly. Accordingly, the number of pediatric patients coming to the doctor due to hand, foot and mouth disease has recently increased 3-4 times.

According to MSc. Nguyen Dinh Qui, Acting Head of Infection Department, Children’s Hospital 2 (HCMC), every day the department receives 20-25 new diseases. There are currently 45 cases being treated, of which about 10 cases are grade 2B, group 1 and group 2 are starting to have neurological symptoms and complications .

At Children’s Hospital 1 (HCMC), the number of patients with hand, foot and mouth disease has also increased recently. On average, the hospital receives about 50 cases/day, an increase of 3-4 times. Accordingly, to be able to meet the current increased demand for examination and treatment, the department has had to add more doctors and nurses on duty.

Experts believe that the number of cases will continue to increase in the near future, leading to the number of severe hand, foot and mouth diseases also increasing. The hand, foot and mouth disease epidemic is not only concentrated in Ho Chi Minh City, but the Mekong Delta provinces also recorded many cases.

Data from the Department of Health shows that up to 80% of hospitalized hand, foot and mouth cases and severe cases being treated in Ho Chi Minh City were transferred from other provinces and cities. Only about 20.9% of patients have addresses in Ho Chi Minh City. Patients from the provinces are being transferred to children’s hospitals and hospitals in Ho Chi Minh City more and more and there is no trend of stopping or decreasing.

Doctor 2 Nguyen Tran Nam, Deputy Director of the City Children’s Hospital (HCMC), said that currently, hand, foot and mouth disease is very worrying because it is an infectious disease and there is no vaccine to prevent it, so the incidence rate is high. will be very high, cases may be massive. The epidemic is especially dangerous for children, especially young children 3-5 years old when they study in crowded kindergarten environments.

More dangerously, the strain causing hand, foot and mouth disease this year is Enterovirus 71 (EV71 – a highly virulent virus strain), causing increased incidence and severity. In fact, the number of children infected, seriously ill and dying is also increasing. EV71 makes warning symptoms of the disease less typical and less obvious, causing quick and severe complications. There are many children with hand, foot and mouth disease of the Enterovirus 71 strain, but parents cannot detect the disease or confuse it with another disease, causing the child to get worse and develop new complications.

Last June, Ho Chi Minh City developed 3 scenarios to respond to hand, foot and mouth disease . Scenario 1, less than 50 hospitalizations/day, less than 200 inpatient cases and less than 20 severe cases. Scenario 2, 50-100 hospitalizations per day, 200 to 700 inpatients with about 10% severe cases. Scenario 3, 100 – 200 hospitalizations per day, 700 to 1,400 inpatients with 10% severe cases.

According to the actual number of cases being treated at Ho Chi Minh City hospitals today, Ho Chi Minh City is having to respond according to the second scenario, with 50 – 100 hospitalized cases/day, 200 to 700 cases being treated. inpatient, with about 10% of severe cases.

Mike Donnelly

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