DOH reports over 170% increase in HFMD in the first 6 mos of 2015

July 28, 2015 5:50 am 

MANILA, July 27 — The Department of Health (DOH) recorded a total of 612 cases of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) nationwide during the first six months of this year, 175.7 percent higher than the 222 reported during the same period in 2014.

With the increase in HFMD cases, the DOH has asked the public to observe simple steps like washing of the hands often and practicing good hygiene to reduce the risk of infection.

Based on the DOH Epidemiology Bureau Public Health Surveillance and Information Division report most of the cases were from Region 2, Region 4-A, Region 10, National Capital Region, and Region 4-B.

The report said region 2 has the highest number cases more than 140 cases or 23.7 percent.

It was followed by Region 4-A with 20.1 percent; Region 10 with 15.5 percent; National Capital Region with 9.6 percent; and Region 4-B with 5.4 percent.

HFMD, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), is a common infectious disease of infants and children.

The illness is characterized by fever, painful sores in the mouth, and a rash with blisters on hands, feet and also buttocks. It usually begins with a fever, poor appetite, malaise, and frequently with a sore throat.

It spreads from person to person by direct contact with infectious viruses with infectious viruses that cause HFMD.

The viruses are found in the nose and throat secretions such as saliva, sputum or nasal mucus.

Infected persons are most contagious during first week.

One or two days after fever onset, painful sores develop in the mouth starting only from small red spots – usually located on the tongue, gums, and inside of the cheeks – that blister, these then often become ulcers.

HFMD afflicts mainly those who are under 10 years old, but most commonly in children younger than five years old. Younger children tend to have worse symptoms. Furthermore, children are more likely to be susceptible to infection and illness from these viruses, because they are less likely than adults to have antibodies and be immune from previous exposures to them, according to the WHO.

In the report, DOH said that there is no specific way to prevent the infection but good hygiene can do a big help in decreasing a person’s risk. Disinfecting the premises is advised.

The WHO said that HFMD must not be confused with foot-and-mouth disease as the latter is caused by a different virus and affects cattle, sheep, and pigs.(PNA)



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