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Enterovirus EV-71 (hand-, foot- and mouth disease)

Enterovirus EV-71 is a viral disease, characterized by high fever, rash and in many cases blisters in mouth, hands and feet. That is why the disease is also known as hand-, foot- and mouth disease. Normally it runs a mild course but occasionally it may course pneumonia or brain symptoms.

How?
The infection is spread through contact with infected blisters and feces and transmission is increased under poor hygienic and overcrowded conditions.


Where?
Enterovirus infections occur worldwide. Outbreaks occur in various countries e.g. now in Thailand. 
 

Treatment
There is no specific treatment against the virus. Treatment is focused on prevention of complications. There is no vaccine for this virus.


Prevention and control
Prevention is aimed at breaking the transmission chain: Avoid contact and improve hygiene. Improved sanitation and general hygiene are important preventive measures. Measures that can be taken to avoid getting infected with enteroviruses include frequent hand washing, especially after diaper changes or going to the toilet; disinfection of contaminated surfaces with bleach (20ml/litre of water); and washing soiled articles of clothing. The viruses are resistant to many disinfectants so it is important to use chlorinated or iodized disinfectants. During recognized epidemics, it may be advised to close certain institutions such as schools or child care facilities in order to reduce transmission especially among young children. At least, keep children at home during an epidemic.

Normally, the virus peaks in June and July, when the temperature is high.


It is not necessary to avoid traveling.

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