Hand-Washing: The Main Strategy for Avoiding Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease.

Authors: Zhang D, Li Z, Zhang W, Guo P, Ma Z, Chen Q, Du S, Peng J, Deng Y, Hao Y


Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2016 Jun 18;13(6):

Epidemics of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) among children have caused concern in China since 2007. We have conducted a retrospective study to investigate risk factors associated with HFMD. In this non-matching case-control study, 99 HFMD patients and 126 control from Guangdong Province were enlisted as participants. Data comprising demographic, socio-economic, clinical and behavior factors were collected from children's parents through face-to-face interviews by trained interviewers using a standardized questionnaire. Results of the primary logistic regression analyses revealed that age, history of cold food consumption, hand-washing routines, and airing out bedding were significantly associated with HFMD cases. Results of further multivariate analysis indicated that older age (OR = 0.44, 95% CI: 0.34-0.56) and hand-washing before meals (OR = 0.3, 95% CI: 0.13-0.70) are protective factors, whereas airing out bedding more than thrice a month (OR = 4.55, 95% CI: 1.19-17.37) was associated with increased risk for HFMD. Therefore, hand-washing should be recommended to prevent HFMD, and the potential threat of airing out bedding should be carefully considered. However, further studies are needed to examine other possible risk factors.



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