Cambodia's handfootmouth disease epidemic appears to have passed the critical point and is now under control, but Thailand remains on alert for further cases of the disease, Bureau of Epidemiology director Dr Pasakorn Akarasewi said on Monday.
He noted the outbreak in the neighbouring country should decline within 45 days and that the illness has been found in Thailand among primaryschool students.
About 13,000 children have been infected with the HDMD so far in Thailand, with the figure possibly reaching some 18,000 cases this year.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), illness and death in the majority of cases in Cambodia has been due to a severe form of handfootmouth disease (HFMD) related to Enterovirus 71, which is seen in many countries around the globe.
The illness has mostly been found in Cambodia's capital of Phnom Penh and its vicinity, including along the Mekong River. The situation there is currently under WHO supervision, Dr Pasakorn said.
In Thailand, the outbreak has occurred mainly in the central and the northeastern areas, followed by the north and south, in nurseries and kindergarten schools. Most patients are children of 35 years old, bur the symptoms are also found in some children older than age 5.
The Epidemiology Bureau director said his organisation is speeding up measures for disease control and prevention. Clear guidance for setting up a provincial centre to monitor handfootmouth disease will be given to ensure further cooperation.