Beware of Singapore Flu in Children, Recognize the Symptoms and How to Prevent It

Singapore Flu in Children. – Singapore flu or hand foot mouth disease (HFMD), is a disease that is currently being discussed on social media. Singapore flu is a contagious disease that can affect anyone, and is more common in children.

Quoting from Healthline, Singapore Flu is a highly contagious disease caused by coxsackievirus, a type of virus that belongs to the Enterovirus group.

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The virus can be spread from person to person through direct contact with unwashed hands or contaminated surfaces. The virus can also be transmitted through contact with a person’s saliva, feces, or respiratory secretions.

When Singapore Flu in children appears, it can be characterized by conditions such as thrush in the mouth, rash on the hands and feet, and blisters.

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Singapore Flu Symptoms in Children

Singapore flu in children often occurs when babies or children are under 5 years old. Signs of the Singapore Flu in children are mostly mild symptoms that can last for 7 to 10 days.

Launching from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) page, the symptoms of the Singapore Flu in children can include:

Fever and Flu-like Symptoms

Children often develop fever and flu-like symptoms within three to six days after they catch the Singapore Flu virus. Symptoms can include:

  • Fever
  • Decreased appetite
  • Sore throat
  • Feeling unwell

Other symptoms may appear in the next few days.


A day or two after the fever starts, your child may develop painful thrush (herpangina). These sores usually appear in the form of small red spots, which usually appear at the back of the mouth.

Signs of canker sores in children are:

  • Not much to eat or drink
  • Drooling more than usual
  • Just want to drink cold liquid

Skin Rash

Children can also develop skin rashes on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. This rash can also appear on the knees, elbows, buttocks, or genital area.

The rash usually looks like flat red spots, or sometimes with blisters. The fluid in the blisters and scabs that form as they heal may contain the virus that causes the Singapore Flu.

Keep the blisters or scabs clean and avoid touching them.

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Causes of the Singapore Flu

The Singapore flu is caused by a strain of coxsackievirus, the most common of which is the coxsackievirus A16. Coxsackieviruses are part of a group of viruses called enteroviruses. In some cases, other types of enteroviruses can also cause the Singapore Flu.

This virus can easily spread from person to person. Singapore flu in children may occur due to contact through:

  • saliva
  • fluid from the blisters
  • dirt
  • droplets that are sprayed into the air after coughing or sneezing

Singapore flu can also be transmitted through direct contact with unwashed hands or surfaces that contain traces of the virus.

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How to Prevent Singapore Flu

You can help prevent the spread of the Singapore Flu by practicing good hygiene in simple ways.

Washing hands

Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Always wash your hands when:

  • After changing diapers
  • After using the toilet
  • After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
  • Before and after caring for someone who is sick

Help children wash their hands by teaching them how to wash their hands and making sure they wash them often.

Clean and disinfect

Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and shared items, including toys and doorknobs.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth

You can catch the Singapore Flu if you have the virus on your hands and then touch your eyes, nose or mouth. To reduce the possible risk, do not touch your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

Avoid close contact with sick people

Avoid touching someone who has the Singapore Flu disease, such as hugging or kissing them. And stay home if you are infected with this disease.

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How to Treat Singapore Flu in Children

You can give acetaminophen or ibuprofen if your child is sick or irritable. Do not give aspirin to children or teenagers, as it can cause a rare, serious disease called Reye’s syndrome.

Cold foods such as ice cream, smoothies, and popsicles can also help by numbing the area, and make great treats for kids who have trouble swallowing. Avoid hot drinks, soda, and acidic foods (orange juice, ketchup, etc.) because they can make the pain worse.

Children with rashes or blisters on their hands or feet should keep the area clean and exposed. Wash the skin with soap and warm water, and pat dry. If a blister appears, apply a small amount of antibiotic ointment to help prevent infection and cover it with a small bandage.

Make sure your child drinks plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. Call the doctor if your child doesn’t change or seems to be getting worse. Also call if you notice signs of dehydration, such as dry or sticky mouth, sunken eyes, or decreased urine output. [ank]

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