Be Careful of the Singapore Flu (Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease) on Your Little One

Oleh: Morinaga Platinum

Singapore Flu is an infectious infection caused by a virus. Generally, this disease attacks the Little Ones who are under 10 years old, although it is also possible for adults to suffer from it. Singapore Flu is also known as hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD), generally caused by a group of viruses called enteroviruses.

The immune system that is not as strong as an adult and the lack of knowledge about the importance of hand washing are two factors why Singapore flu is more common in the Little One. Another factor that also plays a role is the weather. Several studies conducted in Singapore, Hong Kong, and Japan found that this disease is more easily transmitted in a place where the temperature is hot, humidity is high and the wind is strong.

Your Little One can catch Singapore flu if he/she comes into contact with fluids from a person with the disease, such as nasal mucus, saliva, fluid from the skin, feces, or fluid that comes out when the person sneezes and coughs.

What are the symptoms of Singapore flu?

The incubation period of the Singapore flu virus lasts for 3-6 days. The first symptom that usually arises is fever which is then followed by a swallowing pain, decreased appetite, and weakness.

Then, thrush will appear in the mouth of the Little One, 1-2 days after the fever arises. Usually the pain of thrush will make your Little One to be reluctant to eat. After the appearance of thrush, red rashes appear on the Little One’s hands and feet.

How is the Singapore Flu treatment?

There is no special therapy to cure this disease, because the cause is a viral infection. Your Little One does not need antibiotics and the disease can heal itself in 7-10 days.

Even so, doctors can provide medicines to relieve symptoms so that your Little One feels more comfortable and wants to eat. Self-care that can be done at home include:

  • Giving soft food or soup so that your Little One can swallow it easily. Mommy can also give the Little One, additional liquid nutrients that contain nucleotides and lactoferrin. Nucleotides are proteins that the body needs to be able to strengthen immunity towards infection. Nucleotides will also help shape good body metabolism. Whereas, lactoferrin functions as an antimicrobial and a regulator of the immune system. With a maximum immune system, your Little One will not be infected more severely by viruses and bacteria.
  • Both of these nutrients will help increase immunity so that the recovery process will run more smoothly.
  • Providing febrifuge to relieve fever or pain
  • Making sure your Little One consumes lots of fluids. It's okay to give him/her a cold drink to reduce the pain in the throat.
  • Ensure that your Little One rests adequately
  • Apply an anti-itch cream to the rash, if needed
  • For the Little One who can gargle, ask him/her to gargle with salt water several times a day. This can help reduce canker sores.

The most common complication of the Singapore flu is dehydration. Your Little One will usually refuse to eat and drink because of thrush pain. If this happens, immediately take him/her to the doctor. Maybe your Little One needs an intravenous fluid intake.

Prevent the spread of Singapore flu by applying several healthy habits, such as washing hands before eating, after going to the toilet, and after coughing or sneezing. Teach Your Little One to cover his/her mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing by using disposable wipes or inner elbows.

Although the symptoms are mild and can heal on their own, this disease becomes a scourge for Mommies because the ulcers caused make the Little One go on a hunger strike. Therefore, take care of your Little One's health by giving him/her a complete balanced nutritious food and an adequate sleep.

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