Time to suit up, KR. HFMD is here.

Hand-foot-mouth disease (HFMD) is a term that would have sent chills down our spines when we were children. I remembered how this outbreak resembled SARS, where its highly contagious nature caused kindergarten classes to be temporarily suspended and schools to be sanitized thoroughly. Now, it’s here in our very own Kent Ridge Hall.

I’m sure you’ve heard of the rising number of cases especially from blocks A and D, where it all started from patient 0 contracting it from her brother at home then infecting it to girls from her CCA and friends who drank with her one very night. Talk about drinking with consequences…

An increasing number of A blockers have been falling ill with fever, chills, sore throats and some have confirmed the diagnosis of HFMD with the apparent blisters on their hands and feet. As far as we know, the current number of HFMD infected cases in our hall is at approximately 15.

Even if you don’t have the obvious blisters, you might still have contracted the infection albeit with other symptoms. In this case, you as a carrier might still infect other people through air transmission.

"HFMD is spread from person to person by direct contact with the nasal discharge, saliva, faeces, and fluids from the rash of an infected person. A person infected with HFMD is most contagious during the duration of the illness."

Source: https://www.moh.gov.sg/content/moh_web/home/diseases_and_conditions/h/hfmd.html

Some symptoms of HFMD include:

fever, reduced appetite, sore throat, and a feeling of being unwell (malaise). One or two days after the fever starts, painful sores can develop in the mouth (herpangina). The mouth sores begin, often in the back of the mouth, as small red spots that blister and can become ulcers. A skin rash with red spots, and sometimes with blisters, may also develop over one or two days on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet; it may also appear on the knees, elbows, buttocks or genital area.

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/hand-foot-mouth/about/signs-symptoms.html

Right now, you might be reading this fearful and may even start to feel a little sickly as you’re acutely aware of the scary ass predicament we’re all in but it’s not as bad in adults (you’re adults, right?) than in children and the viral infection should go away within a week without medication. Ask any survivors and you’ll know.

One of the A blockers went to the doctor’s and upon being told that it might be HFMD, the doctor immediately pushed his chair away a little. I guess that’s an instinct we all might have for the fear of contagion but remember to still offer your friends help to dabao food (someone ran all the way to the end of the long wing when dropping food off his HFMD-infected friend’s room) or catch up on schoolwork.

How to lower your chances of HFMD?

Other than washing your hands regularly and cleaning your phone screens (it’s very dirty I promise you) with alcohol swabs regularly, HFMD can also be combatted with Vitamin C to increase your immunity because it’s a viral infection.

I’m super particular about my health after I got hospitalized for a viral infection last year, so I got a HFMD starter pack below just yesterday. All these can be bought at local Guardian and Watsons stores and as you can see, they’re having a CNY promotion now. Buy a 2nd item* for 50% off, how worth! #ad #jk

*selected items only

As I walked around hall more confident today with my new KR essentials, a new HFMD case popped up on my level and I feel all sickly with a sore throat and slight fever. Fk mi.

Hey guys, Kenny here taking over the article because Jasmine has contracted the viral disease herself. Talk about karma… Anyway, let me share with you some of the things you should and should not do around a person infected with the HFMD. You should not 1) Blatantly and tactlessly declare your outrageous FEAR of being around the infected.

Need I say more? Treating them like they are animals/zombies caged in a quarantined room…not very nice. Such behaviour will only aggravate the person’s mental and emotional wellbeing when they are already experiencing solitary confinement. Show them some love!

2) Blatantly laugh and scream at the infected’s predicament

Contrary to popular beliefs, you will NOT decrease your chances of getting infected by screaming and laughing from a distance at the person’s state of isolation.

You should however 1) Take necessary precautions around them. It is true that you must avoid contact with them by being careful, especially in the area of personal hygiene as well as the taking of meals. Do not share utensils! 2) Show them that you still care for them, that they still exist. Some of these creatures people are facing strange hallucinations, deepened feelings of depression and even suicidal thoughts in their quarantine chambers. Attached is a video of one of the infected talking to himself to a camera and addressing an imaginary audience.

Such behaviour is common among those who are facing attention-whoring withdrawals and extreme social isolation. Hence, it is important for us to still reach out to them and show them that we still care, no matter how fake we might sound. Do not underestimate the difference a snapchat, a text message, or a virtual pat on the back can do.

Just in case you need an example of what you can do. All in all, the HFMD is only a passing spell in Kent Ridge Hall that will not stay forever. Let us stay bonded in this rare tough period and work together to eradicate the evils lurking in the corners and chambers of Kent Ridge. Do not let your fear of the disease ruin the friendships you used to treasure.

Do not let this ruin your friendship.

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Kent Ridge Hall Reporters 2019