Mohammad Imran Naikoo
BARAMULLA: For the last couple of months, Baramulla district has been witnessing a huge number of Hand-Foot-and-Mouth disease (HFMD) cases.
“Yesterday evening, my son had an itch on his back. We saw very tiny, reddish pimples there and he had a fever too. We rushed him to the hospital where a doctor termed his illness HFMD,” mother of a patient Burhan Ahmad Mir told Kashmir Reader.
Disease not lethal but contagious, say doctors“We were shocked, but after treatment his condition is stable now. Unfortunately the situation can worsen day by day, so we demand immediate help to tackle this unfortunate situation,” she said.
Another parent, Mohmad Ashraf from Sopore said that When he first saw the reddish pimple on his daughter’s feet, he thought it was an insect bite and ignored it.
“But as time passed, it increased and we took her to hospital, where I came to know she has HFMD.”
“A huge number of kids in Baramulla and surroundings areas are affected by this unknown disease. These affected kids need immediate care, but in our district hospital, there is only one dermatologist appointed, so we are appealing to the authorities to appoint a few more dermatologists in the hospital,” he urged.
A group of people inside the district hospital told Kashmir Reader that, “The disease is spread day by day, and we have seen for the last couple of months there is no decline in the situation in Baramulla. We request the Health Minister to look into the matter and tackle the disease as soon as possible so our children would not be affected further,” they said.
Dr Amjad, a dermatologist in Baramulla District Hospital, said, “Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is a mild, contagious viral infection, common in young children and is characterised by sores in the mouth and a rash on the hands and feet.
“Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is most commonly caused by the Coxsackie virus. There’s no specific treatment for it. Frequent hand-washing and avoiding close contact with people who are infected with the disease may help reduce your child’s risk of infection,” Dr Amjad added
According to Dr Amjad, HFMD may cause all of the following symptoms: fever, sore throat, feeling of being unwell (malaise), painful, red, blister-like lesions on the tongue, gums and inside of the cheeks, a red rash without itching but sometimes with blistering on the palms, soles and sometimes the buttocks, irritability in infants and toddlers and loss of appetite
When asked about how to prevent the spread of the disease, Dr Amjad said, “Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after changing diapers and using the toilet. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and soiled items, including toys. Avoid close contact such as kissing, hugging, or sharing eating utensils or cups with people with hand-foot-and-mouth disease.
As per official records in Baramulla District Hospital, more than 300 children have been affected by HFMD disease .
The virus is spreading across the whole of the Valley, but Baramulla is the most affected. Dr Amjad also mentioned that parents should not send infected kids to school. However, he also said that the disease is not life threatening and people should not worry about it.
Medical Superintendent Baramulla Dr Masood told Kashmir Reader, “We have received more than 300 cases infected by HFMD. This disease is not dangerous, people don’t need to panic.
“There’s not any particular area which we mentioned and we are trying our best to control this disease. We have already discussed this issue with Director, Health Services, Kashmir,” he added.