Kindergartens and childcare centres across Singapore have been placed on full alert with 585 cases of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) in a single week, health officials said on Thursday. ( dpa )
The Health Ministry's latest bulletin said the number was up from 409 cases the previous week.
Centres are checking youngsters for such telltale signs as mouth ulcers and red blisters.
Temperatures are being taken up to twice a day in an attempt to halt the spread of the disease, an official from NTUC childcare, which runs 30 centres, told The Straits Times.
HFMD causes fever, sore throat, ulcers in the mouth, sores, and rashes on the palms, soles and buttocks. There is no medicine or vaccine and if complications occur, the disease can kill, officials warned.
The disease is transmitted through bodily fluids such as saliva. Hand washing is advised before eating and after going to the toilet and mouths should be covered when coughing or sneezing.
So far, 3,721 people have caught the virus this year, 50 per cent more than over the same period in 2007, the report said.