A two-year-old girl’s death last week was the first fatality resulting from the ongoing hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) outbreak, the Bangkok Post reported.
Disease Control Department adviser Prasert Thongcharoen said that the enterovirus 71 (EV71) caused the toddler’s death.
The girl had chronic asthma – which aggravated her condition – and fell ill with a fever, with difficulty breathing on July 12, Dr. Prasert said. However, she did not have common symptoms of HFMD which include sores in the mouth, and on the hands and/or feet.
She was admitted to hospital where she was later diagnosed with respiratory failure and heart muscle inflammation.
Dr. Prasert added that if children have a high fever lasting more than 48 hours, parents should take them to a doctor immediately.
“All of the strains [of the virus] can cause death, depending on various factors,” he said.
In Sa Kaeo province, a 16-year-old boy died of meningitis brought on by the EV71 virus. Although it was not HFMD, this illustrates the risks posed by the virus, especially to those with brain and lung conditions, Dr. Prasert said.
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