Samoa health authorities concerned about fever and rashes in children

A large number of infants and children have been admitted in hospitals in Samoa in the past month with fever and rashes.

The Ministry of Health said the symptoms are consistent with multiple illnesses including chickenpox and hand-foot-mouth-disease.

The ministry is investigating the cases saying they are contagious and spread quickly among children aged five years and under.

Chickenpox and Hand-Foot and Mouth disease are spread through person to person contact.

A local senior doctor, Esmay Judith Ah Leong also confirmed that a significant number of infants and children with chickenpox-like or varicella like lesions were admitted to her private clinic last week.

“The lesions and the distribution are more aligned with eczema, particularly eczema herpeticum. Hand, Foot and Mouth disease (HFMD) is a differential diagnosis but HFMD is commonly found at the said locations, in other words, it doesn't disseminate like the present lesions with the patients I have seen and treated, where the lesions are mostly on the face and limbs and with torso distribution,” she added.

“These lesions are also raised and have umbilication or central dimples; HFMD lesions are flatter and smaller.”

The Ministry also said Monkeypox has been declared a Global Public Health Emergency by the World Health Organisation.

“Due to the current outbreak of Monkeypox in several countries that have not had this disease before, it has now become a global concern as it is increasingly associated with resumption of international travel,” MOH stated.

“While the risk of Monkeypox to the general public at the moment is currently low, early prevention and protection is considered as a high priority.”

Monkeypox is a rare viral infection which also spreads through physical contact with the infected and is symptomatic.


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Talaia Mika