Amid an alert over spread of hand foot and mouth disease (HFMD) in Kerala, where it was called Tomato fever, Odisha Health director on Tuesday informed that at least 26 children have been detected with HFMD in different parts of the State.
"Of the 36 samples collected and tested in RMRC, Bhubaneswar, 26 detected with HFMD. Among the infected kids, 19 are from Bhubaneswar, two from Khordha, three from Puri and two from Cuttack. All the infected kids are in 1-9 years age group. They have been asked to remain in isolation for 5-7 days," said Health director Bijay Mohapatra.
According to Mohapatra, all the health officials were earlier asked to step up surveillance mechanism to detect such cases and necessary collection and examination of the samples. Most of the cases are from rural pockets of the affected districts and as of now there is no specific treatment.
As part of the strategy, surveillance is being kept on the suspected cases in the OPDs and as well as community surveillance. “Though the condition of the patients is not serious, they usually complain of having reddish lesions inside mouth, skin rashes, lack of appetite, cough and pain in throat while gulping down food,” said Mohapatra.
According to experts, the disease is rarely life-threatening. However, it causes fever, body ache, joint pain, headache, pain in throat with decrease in food intake like in any other disease. “We need to remain cautious and there is no need to panic as it is a self-limiting disease. Only symptomatic treatment and isolation are the key. Whatever inputs we get from RMCR, we will take necessary measures for genome sequencing,” Mohapatra added