The Department of Health Eastern Visayas Center for Health Development (DOH-EVCHD) is informing the public in a health advisory published this week about the continued occurrence of the Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease (HFMD) in the region.
Based on the latest situational report of the Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (RESU), the region has already recorded a total of 116 HFMD cases from January 1, 2023 to February 25, 2023—a significant increase compared to the 22 cases reported during the same period last year.
The province of Leyte posted the highest number of cases, with majority of the infected being males, and spanning from infants to 17 years of age.
HFMD is a highly contagious viral disease often affecting infants and children. Most HFMD cases are mild, self-limiting, and non-fatal, but may progress to meningitis, encephalitis, and polio-like paralysis if left unmanaged. It is usually transmissible through contact with nose and throat discharges, the saliva of infected persons, and/or contaminated objects, However, it is important to note that the HFMD cannot be contracted from animals and should not be confused with the Foot-and-Mouth Disease in cattle, sheep, and swine.
Below are some of the signs, symptoms and preventive measures that the public can follow in managing this infectious disease:
Signs and Symptoms:
2. Sore throat;
3. Feeling of being unwell (malaise);
4. Painful, red, blister-like lesions on the tongue, gums, and insides of the cheeks;
5. Red rash, without itching, but sometimes with blistering on the palms, soles, or the buttocks;
6. Irritability in infants and toddlers; and
7. Loss of appetite.
1. Perform mandatory washing of hands with soap and water, and use of alcohol-based sanitizers, in all opportunities and occasions, especially in the hospital, household, and school settings;
2. Avoid sharing personal items such as spoons, cups, and utensils;
3. Observe Minimum Public Health Standards (MPHS)—physical distancing and using appropriate personal protective equipment—especially when symptoms are present (i.e., properly fitted face mask, gloves);
4. Isolate patients with HFMD;
5. Parents/guardians are advised to ensure that children with suspected, probable, or confirmed HFMD cases should remain at home, refrain from attending school, day-care facilities, or other face-to-face activities until such time that the patient is not exhibiting symptoms anymore, and strictly adhere to the advice of a health care provider;
6. If symptoms persist beyond 10 days, parents/guardians are advised to seek medical consultation immediately, most especially if the symptoms become severe, or is accompanied by nervous system and cardiorespiratory signs and symptoms.
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