The Weekly Infectious Disease Bulletin issued by the The Ministry of Health Singapore has shown over 34,000 new cases of Hand Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD) reported in Singapore during 2016. Singapore has been proactive in combatting HFMD, issuing guidelines to prevent the spread and screening students prior to entering schools. Yet, HFMD has continued to spread, what can be done to prevent HFMD?

Let’s review some facts about Hand Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD):

  • HFMD is a viral infection usually caused by the Coxsackievirus A16 virus, Enterovirus 71 has also been associated with HFMD.
  • HFMD is spread from person-to-person by direct contact via nasal discharge, saliva, faeces and fluid from the rash of an infected person. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) lists airborne- through coughing or sneezing- as another form of transmission.
  • Hand Foot and Mouth Disease is present in Singapore year round, both children and adults can be affected, but children below five years of age are particularly susceptible.
  • New cases of HFMD have been legally notifiable since 2000.

Symptoms, Medication & Preventing the Spread of Hand Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD):

HFMD symptoms include: fever, sore throat, ulcers in the throat, mouth and tongue, headache, rash with small blisters found on the hands, feet and diaper area and poor appetite. Symptoms vary between individuals.

A challenge in preventing the spread of HFMD: people can be contagious without showing any symptoms. The CDC states the following ‘generally, a person with hand, foot, and mouth disease is most contagious during the first week of illness. People can sometimes be contagious for days or weeks after symptoms go away.’

There is no medication to treat HFMD or vaccine to prevent HFMD; immunity is acquired after having the infection.

The Hand Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD) Challenge & Prevention

The challenge HFMD presents to kindergarten and pre-schools: HFMD is spread through close contact- usually direct contact, occasionally via airborne- there is no vaccine or medicine to treat HFMD and many times symptoms are not present when someone is contagious.

The current methods suggested for prevention as suggested by the Singapore Health Promotion Board:

  • Washing hands with soap and water before and after eating and after going to the toilet.
  • Covering the mouth and nose with a piece of tissue when coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid sharing food/drinks, eating utensils, toothbrushes or towels with others.
  • Ensuring that toys or appliances that are contaminated by nasal or oral secretions are disinfected before they are used again.
  • Putting on a face mask when feeling unwell.

BioCair & Killing Hand Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD)

The current prevention recommendations are sound recommendations that can easily be followed, yet these suggestions have been in place for years and HFMD continues to spread. We must evaluate new products and methods for combatting HFMD if we are to slow down the spread of HFMD.

The air and surfaces- we can wash our hands to reduce HFMD and other pathogens, but how to combat the bacteria and viruses found in the air and that land on surfaces?

BioCair offers new options to help slow HFMD- all BioCair products kill HFMD within 60-seconds of contact, with BioCair you can kill HFMD that could be found in the air, on surfaces and on your hands.

A unique aspect of BioCair: disinfecting the air with a non-hazardous BC-65 dry-mist, the mist is propelled into a room or area killing viruses and germs it comes in contact with- either in the air on on a surface- within 60-seconds. The dry-mist can be performed quickly and easily, with our without people in the room.

BioCair is a high-level, broad spectrum disinfectant, we have laboratory testing to show we kill 99.999% of viruses, bacteria, fungus and spores- all within 60-seconds of direct contact. With HFMD being a major concern in Singapore, we had third-party testing done to validate BC-65 can kill 99.999% of Coxsackievirus A16 & Enterovirus 71.

BC-65 is naturally derived, is non-toxic, non-irritant, contains no alcohol or triclosan and is eco-friendly.

In addition to combatting airborne pathogens, BioCair has a range of Pocket Sprays, including the BioActive Spray that targets HFMD. The Pocket Spray can be applied directly to the hands, sprayed onto a toy, ball or teddy bear. Being non-toxic, non-irritant and containing no alcohol, all BioCair Pocket Sprays are safe for use around children and a toy or your hands do not need to be wiped or cleaned after they have been sprayed with BioCair.

Using BioCair: Many users disinfect their children’s hands with the Pocket Spray when they come home from school and perform 1-2 hours of the dry-mist in the children's room on a daily basis.

BioCair, like any product, cannot eliminate HFMD, but we can safely and effectively provide protection against  HFMD and other pathogens found in the air and on surfaces.

References:

MOH Singapore information pages on HFMD:

https://www.moh.gov.sg/content/moh_web/home/diseases_and_conditions/h/hfmd.html

MOH Singapore Update on HFMD Situation in Singapore, updated weekly with information on Childcare Centres and Kindergartens with active HFMD clusters and transmission:

https://www.moh.gov.sg/content/moh_web/home/diseases_and_conditions/h/hand_foot_mouth_disease.html

Image extracted from:

http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/hfmd-cases-surge-to-near-record-high