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22 cases of Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease

Trinidad Express / Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh said “in 2018, there have been 22 cases of Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease, and, there is no vaccine for it, and, it is not life-threatening.”

Deyalsingh also said in 2016, there were only 223 cases; and, in 2017, 117 cases. He also said a few cases have been found in an isolated area in Central.”

Deyalsingh gave this update on Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease after delivering the feature address at the opening ceremony of the 33rd Meeting of The Caribbean Immunisation Managers, Hilton Trinidad, St Ann’s, yesterday.

Deyalsingh said: “We have a few cases in an isolated area in Central. County Medical Officer (Dr Harry Smith) was aware. He sent out an internal memo for physicians to be on the lookout for it. The memo found its way into social media, and, it was picked up by mainstream media. You have to understand, Hand, Foot and Mouth virus surfaces every single year. It is not life threatening, and, flares up from time to time in all countries.”

On Monday, Deyalsingh had issued a release denying there was an increase in cases.

It said: “Ministry advises a few suspected cases of Hand, Foot and Mouth disease have recently been reported in a small group of children at a specific location in Trinidad. There is no serious public health risk.”

Another medical source said if Hand, Foot and Mouth disease gets into the population, it could create a serious public health problem.

Former Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan also warned the virus could have mutated since the last outbreak in 2011. Parents of young children who may have contracted it are urged to keep them away from school.

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