09/08/2008

Hand Foot and Mouth Disease

I read the papers this morning about the 3 year old boy who had just passed away from HFMD on Wednesday. It was really sad especially when you are a mother. Hand, Food and Mouth disease is considered a mild illness that can infect children up to the age of 5. But it is different from those like Chicken Pox as kids can come down with it more than once. It is caused by any of the 70 different virus.

I wanted to highlight this on the blog because Lea had just recovered (Thank God!) from it just two weeks ago. She was kept confined at home for almost 2 weeks because I was worried that while she is recovering, her immune system may get to a new low, there are other virus air borne too. In fact all kids recovering from any sickness should recuperate at home for extra few days even though he or she may appear alright.

In severe cases of HFMD, some child contract meningitis, which is an inflammation of the brain lining or encephalitis - inflammation of the brain. These are dangerous. According to the reports, patients with encephalitis are known to DETERIORATE very rapidly.

The boy who passed away, Marzuq had caught HFMD from his nursery class just months ago. This is the second time he caught the virus, except that this time it is a far more severe one. According to the reports, the boy had been to the clinic and been prescribed antibiotics, and the following day started a bout of vomiting. Although he was directed to the kids hospital later and was kept on observation in the intensive care unit, it was the seizure - signs of encephalitis that caused the fatal incident.

It was very heartbreaking for the parents to learn about it especially when their son still seemed to appear ok just minutes before it happened. And they also found out the following day that his sister who is just a year older has red spots on her and also ulcer in the mouth. The older sister had been rushed to the kid's hospital too.

As a mother who had seen both her daughters recovered from HFMD before, I am keeping alert. It is very hard to say where you kids may pick them from. Some parents are just ignorant about it and may bring an infected child to the playground, the mall or worse still, the school did not do any regular checks on kids. For me, I cannot blame the school totally although it is a very large kindy that she attends because sometimes my kids also love to go on the kiddy rides, playgrounds and kids being kids, they love to touch anything not knowing if there are virus or not. Also kids may pick it up when another one sneezes or cough. It is airborne, remember that.

I can play the Obsessive Compulsive game at cleaning my home excessively but I can't do it outside all the time. So I now bring loads of antiseptic wipes with me in my bag!

3 comments:

Joze Foo said...

This is so sad.. Glad that Lea had recovered.

Tammy said...

That's horrible! Aurora had it when she was little.

Wonderful Life said...

It's real heart wrenching to hear the news. Glad that Lea has recovered.