Cases of hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) in Zamboanga City is increasing, the City Health Office (CHO) reported Tuesday, April 18.
City Health Officer Dr. Dulce Amor Miravite reported 10 new cases of HFMD recorded, hiking the total number of HFMD cases in the city to 90 as of April 15.
“If we compare to the same period last year, this is a 100% increase…for last year, we had increase of cases in the month of May. But for this year, as early as January, we have already reported cases and we are seeing this increasing, that’s why we are monitoring this,” Dr. Miravite said.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the HFMD is a common infectious disease that occurs most often in children, but can also occur in adolescents and occasionally in adults. The illness is considered to be very contagious, and usually spreads quickly. In most cases, the disease is mild and self-limiting, with common symptoms such as fever, painful sores in the mouth, and a rash with blisters on hands, feet and buttocks.
However, more severe symptoms such as meningitis, encephalitis and polio-like paralysis may also occur.
In Zamboanga City, Dr. Miravite said the 1-4 year-old age group is the most affected.
“Most exposure is from community, followed by home, and also we have from the schools,” Dr. Miravite added.
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There are no reported deaths due to HFMD.
To avoid catching and spreading HFMD, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises stringent handwashing, cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched surfaces and shared items, refraining from touching the eyes, nose, and mouth, and avoiding close contact with sick people.
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