TACLOBAN CITY (PIA) – The Department of Health - Eastern Visayas Center for Health Development (DOH-EVCHD) has warned the public of the reported cases of Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD) in the region.
Jelyn Lopez Malibago, DOH-8 regional information officer, confirmed that 331 cases of HFMD were reported from January 1 to March 4, 2023 which is higher compared to last year’s 261 cases for the same period.
The province of Eastern Samar registered the most number of cases with 112, followed by the province of Southern Leyte (102), Leyte (83), Northern Samar (16), Biliran (14), and Samar (4).
Based on the advisory of the Department of Health in the region, the HFMD is a highly contagious viral disease often affecting infants and children, but may also occur in adolescents and occasionally in adults.
Most HFMD cases are mild, self-limiting and may not be fatal but may progress to meningitis, encephalitis and polio-like paralysis if left unmanaged.
The DOH-8 laid down some preventive measures such as perform mandatory washing of hands with soap and water and use of alcohol-based sanitizers, in all occasions and places; avoid sharing personal items like spoons, cups and other utensils; observe minimum public health standards; isolate patients with HFMD; and children with HFMD should remain at home and refrain having face to face contact with other people until the infected patient has no more symptoms.
The common symptoms are fever, sore throat, malaise or feeling of being unwell, painful, red, blister-like lesions on the tongue, gums, and insides of the cheeks; red rash, without itching, but sometimes with blistering on the palms, soles or the buttocks; irritability in infants and toddlers and loss of appetite.
Parents and guardians are being advised by health experts to consult a doctor if symptoms persist beyond 10 days and if the symptoms become severe, or is accompanied by nervous system and cardiorespiratory signs and symptoms. (PIA-8)