So the MOH alarm system has finally kicked in because the number of cases have soared and are just 12 short of numbers that would qualify it as an epidemic. This response is about a week late, I think. Last week the numbers were already in excess of the levels technically required to sound the alarm.
This is not just mindless rantings against a government agency. Simply, if we want to manage an epidemic, there must be early warning systems in place. The earlier you activate the warning, the more likely you will be able to manage the impending epidemic. That's what the threshhold triggers are there for. If you don't want to act when the trigger is actuated then what's the point of having the warning system?
Secondly if you seriously want to manage an epidemic you need to put in place other social and miscellaneous support sytems that will allow people to help you limit the infectivity of the disease. To my simple thinking, these would include:
a] giving the public guidelines as to what might be considered standard early diagnostic critera to act upon. By the time a child has blisters everywhere, he has already spread the infection.
b] giving the public some reasonable options should they suspect the child has HFMD. Currently most parents are loathe to consider that possibility because they have little option but to continue to send the child to school/care centre.
c] decent hospitable and friendly places where you can temporarily quarantine the infected kids, so that they don't spread the infection at home.
I know that even I, though reasonably knowledgeable about the problem, find it very difficult to figure out what to do in the event my child break outs. Can I? Should I? How?
The MOH should assist the public in formulating a proper action plan so that we can nip the epidemic early rather than keep wringing our hands every year as we watch the figures rise.
6 years ago