The Health Ministry on Friday urged people to be wary of hand, foot, and mouth disease, which spreads during the hot and dry spells and affects children under the age of five.
In a press statement, the ministry said that it has found an increasing number of children with HFMD and some of the cases were serious, requiring emergency treatment in hospitals.
The ministry said that the disease usually affects infants and young children, and symptoms include fever, mouth ulcers, and rashes on the palms, feet and buttocks.
The statement said that in some cases the disease can seriously affect the nervous system and cause convulsions or breathing difficulty.
It said HFMD is a highly communicable disease which spreads through contact with saliva, sputum, mucus, fluid from blisters and stools of patients.
Health Minister Mam Bun Heng called on the public to be more cautious about the disease during the extremely hot weather and to maintain good hygiene by regularly washing hands with soap and water.
“If children or infants have any sign of convulsions or respiratory problems, they should be taken immediately to the nearest hospital,” he said.
The Health Ministry has also instructed patients to drink more water and take medication to bring down the fever and painkillers for blisters in the mouth. It, however, cautioned against taking aspirin.
Ly Sovann, ministry spokesman, yesterday said that according to reports from laboratories, hospitals and other data, HFMD cases during the first two months of this year have increased from those recorded during the same period last year.
“If the people come across any of the symptoms of the disease which the ministry has listed, they should send their children to hospital for immediate treatment,” he said.