As of yesterday, nearly 30 schools in Bangkok had either closed or suspended some classes after students were found to have been infected with a strain of the hand, foot and mouth disease virus.
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Staff at Chulalongkorn University Demonstration School disinfect facilities following the outbreak of hand, foot and mouth disease, which has forced classes at many schools in Bangkok and some other provinces to be suspended. PATTANAPONG HIRUNARD
More virus-hit schools to shut
HFMD outbreak may last 2 months, ministry says
More schools will be ordered to close temporarily as the Health Ministry battles to curb the hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) outbreak.
The ministry is also racing against time to prevent a more dangerous and potentially lethal strain of the virus found in Cambodia from taking hold.
The spread of HMFD will probably continue for another month or two, the ministry warned yesterday.
Wattana Wittayalai School in Watthana district of the capital is the latest to shut after four kindergarten children were found to have contracted HFMD.
Public Health Minister Witthaya Buranasiri yesterday said HFMD infections will continue and spread in several provinces because schools are already open and the rainy season is under way.
As of yesterday, nearly 30 schools in Bangkok had either closed or suspended some classes after students were found to have caught the disease.
Health authorities have been told to monitor the situation closely and set up a provincial-level operation centre when the number of HFMD cases rises to more than 10 in one day, he said.
It is part of the Public Health Ministry's six-point surveillance plan which also aims to prevent the potentially deadly enterovirus type 71 (EV-71) strain, which has killed dozens of children in Cambodia, from striking in Thailand.
Mr Witthaya said the temporary shutdown of schools is necessary to curb the outbreak of HFMD, a viral infection that affects mostly children.
"Closing down schools is part of the measures to contain the disease and protect the children.
"Shutdowns may be required and there is no need to panic," he said.
Deputy Public Health Minister Surawit Khonsomboon said the cabinet agrees with the Public Health Ministry's six-point plan to curb the outbreak.
Under the plan, the Public Health, Education and Interior ministries will also coordinate efforts to monitor the disease, especially in child care centres.
Advisories on hygiene and how to spot the infection will also be sent to schools and communities, he said.
He said there is no need to panic over the school closures which will allow them to be thoroughly disinfected of the virus.
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disinfect – to make something clean by treating it with a substance that kills disease causing organisms ฆ่าเชื้อโรค, ทำให้ปลอดเชื้อ
facilities – the buildings, equipment and services provided for a particular purpose อุปกรณ์, อุปกรณ์อำนวยความสะดวก, สิ่งอำนวยความสะดวก
outbreak – the sudden start of a disease การระบาดของโรค
suspended – stopped for a period of time ถูกยกเลิกชั่วคราว, ถูกระงับชั่วคราว
temporarily – for a limited period of time ชั่วคราว
battle – to try very hard to achieve something difficult or to deal with something unpleasant or dangerous ต่อสู้, ดิ้นรนต่อสู้, มุ่งมั่นฝ่าฟัน
curb – to control or limit something that is harmful ระงับ, ควบคุม
potentially – possible in the future ที่อาจเกิดขึ้นได้
lethal – very dangerous and able to kill you เป็นอันตรายถึงชีวิต
strain – a particular type of virus, animal, insect, or plant สายพันธุ์
take hold – to begin to have control over somebody/something; to become very strong; to become established
spread – to gradually affect or cover a larger area แพร่กระจาย
kindergarten – a school for children, usually between the ages of two and five โรงเรียนอนุบาล
contract – to become infected with a disease ติดเชื้อ
infection – a disease or medical condition that is caused by a bacteria or by a virus or a parasite การติดเชื้อ
authorities – people who have the power to make decisions or enforce the law เจ้าหน้าที่ผู้มีอำนาจ
monitor – to regularly check something or watch something to find out what is happening ตรวจ, ติดตาม, เฝ้าสังเกต
operation – an activity which is planned to achieve something การดำเนินการ
surveillance – the process of carefully watching การเฝ้าตรวจตราอย่างเข้มงวด
measures – actions that are intended to deal with or control something มาตราการ
contain – to prevent from spreading; to keep within limits จำกัด,ควบคุมไว้
panic – a sudden strong feeling of fear or worry that causes you to be unable to think clearly or calmly ความตื่นตกใจ
deputy – a person whose rank is immediately below that of the leader of an organisation รอง
cabinet – the group of government ministers who make and approve government policy คณะรัฐมนตรี
coordinate – to organise the different parts of a job or plan so that the people involved work together effectively ประสานงานกัน
advisory – an official warning that something bad is going to happen and, often, how to deal with it คำเตือน; การแนะนำ
hygiene – the degree to which people keep themselves or their environment clean, especially to prevent disease สุขลักษณะ
spot – to see or notice สังเกตเห็น
community – the people living in one particular area ชุมชน