Today is the 5th day i am out of action.
If you have emailed me, you would have received my OOO (Out of Office) reply. A couple of work colleagues and friends asked me what happened that i warrant a 5 day MC?
Majority of them quizzed for Wisdom tooth extraction? No, it is not. Mine’s been removed, all 4 of them. Plus i won’t want to do it this week either. I could have met Simon Brown yesterday and Steve Cellini today. Who are they? They are very senior executives in the Microsoft ranking. I shan’t going into that. I was supposed to have a chance at making some scorings that could potentially be very positive for my career in Microsoft.
Never mind that. What took me down was HFMD (Hand, Foot, Mouth Disease). I just want to share that this is NOT JUST A KIDDY Disease. It strikes adults. My elder girl got it. Ironically, not from child care.
Let my story be a warning to you;
(Sunday) Day 1: My girl was having fever. It wasn’t HFMD then. It was a bacteria infection and doc gave the usual dose of paracetamol and anti-biotics. Doctor certified that it is not HFMD. Since Friday, my girl has not gotten to the childcare. In case you wondering why. In Singapore, on the news, HFMD is spreading like wild fire. Check the home page of Ministry of Health.
(Tuesday) Day 3: Everything seems to have settled down over the past 2 or 3 days. However, on Tuesday night, my girl started having fever again. Her hands and feet had minor red/pinky spots. Plus my girl kept saying "Mouth Pain". Worrying its HFMD, we rushed her down to the same PD Clinic the very next morning.
(Wednesday) Day 4: The very morning, i skipped work and rush down to the PD Clinic. I told the PD Clinic that it is a HFMD suspect case. I was given priority and saw the doctor right away. Doctor certified, "Yes, its HFMD. We’ll have to keep her away from ChildCare". But the ironic thing is, she hasn’t been to childcare for the past 5 days. Doctor said it takes 3 days to incubate and develop the symptoms. We have not brought her anywhere since Sat (Day 0) except for the clinic. SHE CAUGHT HFMD FROM THE CLINIC. Damn it, that would be the last place anyone would expect to catch HFMD. MOH has been telling all child care and pre-schools to be very careful about HFMD.
Day 4 to Day 7: Over the past few days was horror. My girl cannot sleep properly, refuse to eat and drink. We had to force her on occasions. Through occasions, she begs for water, but drinks minimally. Its simply heartbreaking. Oh, she always ask for mouth cream. And yes, she lost quite a lot of weight. She had ulcers in her mouth and throat.
(Sunday) Day 8: In the evening, My wife and i started showing symptoms of HFMD infection. No fever, but we started having little ulcers and a few spots on the hands and feet. We reckon that we have caught it from my elder girl. On the same night, my younger girl started showing symptoms too.
(Monday) Day 9: We rushed down to the clinic (Me, wife and 2nd girl). It was confirmed HFMD. We had to stay away from everyone for 5 days at least.
(Friday) Day 13: Here i am sitting at the coffee table writing this blog. The past 2 weeks has been killing for me. Sleepless nights, can’t eat properly, can’t drink. We now understand how my elder girl and my younger girl have felt. BTW, my elder is turning 3 years old and my younger girl is 8 months. Things are getting better, but i really want to share my experiences with everyone. Its a very painful experience.
Here are some symptoms (after getting infection of HFMD);
- Fever within 3 days of infection
- Mouth starts getting small blisters and develops into ulcers within 4 days of infection
- Hands, Feet, Elbows, Knees and Thighs will develop red spots within 4 days of infection and develops into small blisters. DO NOT BURST THE BLISTERS.
- From day 1, you are infectious for about 8 days
These are ways to contain its spread;
- Wash your hands well before any food
- In fact wash your hands regularly
- Do not share food
- Do not share fork and spoon.
- When coughing or sneezing, turn away from anyone and cover your nose and mouth.
- No kissing 😉
- Stay away from pregnant ladies. If they catch it, there will be complications
How it transmit;
- Through contact. Transmission mechanism is very similar to flu transmission.
- Cough and sneezing, the droplets that flew around in the air. (Please remember to cover)
- Apparently, a space that has been infected, remains infected for 24 hours unless disinfected by a disinfectant. Use Dethol handwash… 😉
Now my serious take;
HFMD is not a KIDDY ONLY DISEASE. Adults can get it too, and trust me, its worse then than kid gets it. I see more ulcers and more blisters and spots. But because we know we must eat and drink still, it is less dangerous for us. But kids don’t understand, they simply stop eating and drinking. Now that is DEADLY.
Why is MOH emphasizing so much on the Child Care Center. Please take a look at the clinics which a lot of children visit. My girl got it from a PD Clinic. Its a specialist clinic in a private hospital. That would be the least expected place of infection. Can MOH do something about it? Giving advisories to clinics isn’t enough.
Parents: If you bring your child to the clinic, make sure you carry them and don’t let them run around and play the toys there. The PD Clinic that i went to, my girl was playing with the toys there. The clinics do not disinfect their toys, doesn’t make sense anyway. You can’t have a person disinfect every time a kid plays the toy.
I think for the time being, all clinics should hide all their toys. Its more serious on adults, but spreads more easily amongst kids. Hey, wake up. Adult don’t play toys and share toys. Adults don’t jump onto the toys the moment you see them. Kids do, and they don’t care and don’t understand the consequences.
MOH, please do something to the clinics. My suggestions;
- Get all clinics to keep all toys, else disinfect them regularly (hourly basis? Hmm, maybe not enough)
- Have clinic set up priority for HFMD suspects carrying the symptoms. This will lessen the exposure timings that kids can spread.
- Perhaps Parents can call in first to highlight that it is bringing in a HFMD suspect to prepare the clinic.
- When entering a clinic, kids disinfect their hands like child care does. Take temperature if needed.
Those are my suggestions, take it as it deems fit.
Just yesterday, in the news. I heard over 1000 cases in the past week. I guess my whole family of 4 makes up part of that 1000. Just taking my times into considerations;
1 week of no work for me and my wife; we estimate to lose $3000 worth of income, less the amount of money making opportunities. Assuming everyone in that 1000 cases, has 1 parent who take cares of the children, and each one loses $1000 a week. Damn, we’re talking about losing 1000 x $1000 = $1,000,000 !!!
Now can someone takes things serious and look into where the spreads can take place. If you’re from MOH and you want to know which clinic, email me – firstname.lastname@example.org