Bhubaneswar: Twenty-six children have been diagnosed with hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) in Odisha, a health official said on Tuesday.
Commonly known as ‘tomato flu’, the infectious disease is caused by intestinal viruses and occurs mostly in children. The illness is rare in adults as they usually have immune systems strong enough to defend them from the virus.
In most cases, the viral illness has symptoms like fever, painful sores in the mouth and rash with blisters on hands, feet and buttocks, according to the World Health Organization.
Out of the 36 samples that were collected and tested in the Regional Medical Research Centre in Bhubaneswar, 26 were found to be positive, Health Services director Bijay Mohapatra told reporters. The children’s condition is stable, an official said.
Of the HFMD-infected children, 19 are from Bhubaneswar, three from Puri and two each from Cuttack and Puri, according to Mohapatra.
“Those infected are in the age group of 1-9 years and have been asked to remain in isolation for five-seven days,” the official said.
The condition of the patients is not serious and surveillance is being maintained, he added.
Earlier this month, over 80 cases of the HFMD were reported from Kerala’s Kollam district, prompting the neighbouring states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka to increase their vigilance in the border districts.
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